MEDIA WATCH-In an "extraordinarily hackish" move (among many), newly unsealed court documents show that, near the ragged end of his reign of terror, the former guy and Bill Barr's Department of Justice (sic) sought to use a covert grand jury subpoena, the federal machinery behind it and your money to unmask, not violent cops or white supremacists or corporate crimes, but Twitter pranksters saying mean things about faithful lapdog, litigious snowflake, friend to insurrectionists and "proud graduate of smiling for beginners" Devin Nunes - all while in the gleeful guise of, variously, his cow, his mom and his Drag Queen self. Inexplicable head of the House Intelligence Committee representing California's 22nd District - whose constituents he hasn't met with for years - Nunes is known for his sordid history of defending/denying Russian tool and former guy's abuses so zealously some wonder, when Il Duce goes to prison, if Nunes will turn up during his first body cavity search. The author of a bill denouncing frivolous lawsuits, Nunes has spent much of his time in Congress filing frivolous lawsuits - nine at last count - against people and organizations that hurt his feelings, expose his hypocrisy and call him mean things like "a treasonous cowpoke."
He has sued - or threatened to sue - CNN, WaPo, Esquire, The Fresno Bee, a progressive watchdog, a random guy in Washington State, a constituent who called him "a fake farmer," and Twitter to the tune of $250 million for "insults." Colbert: "Insults? What?! That's what Twitter is! That's all it does! Can you ask the sun not to shine?!"
Entertainingly, he also sued two parody Twitter accounts: Devin Nunes' Cow (@DevinCow) and Devin Nunes' Mom, suspended and then re-invented as @NunesAlt, "the not-so-proud alt-mom of prolific libel tourist and part-time Congressman Devin Nunes"; for good measure, he/she adds the boast, "Blocked by Applebees." In his suit, Nunes pitifully charges that AltMom, "in an endless barrage of tweets, maliciously attacked every aspect of (his) character."
Alas, his "swinging-for-the fences" suits have been largely unsuccessful - dismissed, withdrawn or still pending. But after he sued, the cow's followers skyrocketed from a couple of thousand to about 500,000, so there's that. One observer: "What a fucking goat rodeo."
Still, the conspiracy-minded guy who calls Antifa and BLM "radical left-wing shock troops" and claims secret forces are trying to destroy our country had never tried to use a secret federal grand jury to sniff out mean people calling him names by having Bill 'What-Good-Is-Power-If-You-Can't-Abuse-It' Barr "fight his barnyard battles for him" - proof, if we needed it, how close we came to Fourth-Reich-ish persecution of political dissidents.
Monday's news, first reported by the New York Times, came in newly unsealed court documents showing that Barr, in the end times of the regime and laser focused on the issues most vital to Americans, tried to root out Nunes-mocking Twitter trolls via a grand jury subpoena.
The news delighted Nunes' Alt-Mom - "This is the closest thing I'm going to get to a Mother's Day Card" - but it raised the stakes on a battle long fought with bad puns - "I herd Nunes is udder-ly worthless and it's pasture time to moove him to prison," sly taunts - "Do you think he'll feel threatened if I tweet about the time he used 15k in campaign funds to buy Celtics tickets?" - and petty attacks on the Fresno Bee, a local paper h e calls "fake news" by a "band of creeping correspondents."
Their trenchant response: "Just because Nunes doesn't want the story told does not make it 'false.'" In the face of a subpoena, Twitter also fought back: They contacted the U.S. Attorney to raise concerns about Nunes' "past legal efforts to silence criticism," argued the subpoena "may not be supported by a legitimate law enforcement purpose," and moved both to quash the subpoena and vacate an accompany gag order on it by arguing Nunes "may be using the government to unmask his critics in violation of the First Amendment," adding the killer note, "His efforts to suppress critical speech are as well-publicized as they are unsuccessful."
The case was ultimately dropped once Biden came into office, but Nunes' cow, alt-mom, drag queen and assorted allies, from Fearless PAC to the First Amendment, continue to fight him. "There's nothing remarkable about me. I'm a basic smartass with a Twitter account," writes Alt-Mom. "So why am I being sued by a US congressman?... It's not about me or this silly account. It's about silencing all of us."
(CityWatch guest columnist, Abby Zimet, writes for CommonDreams.org … where this piece was first posted.) Photo: An unthreatened Nunes with Proud Boy besties flashing a white power sign.