Judge Nap Doesn't Think Nunes Has a Case With $150M Defamation Lawsuit: 'The Standard Is So High'
Suit alleges conspiracy to derail Clinton, Russia probes.
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano doesn't think Rep. Devin Nunes has a very good case with his $150 million defamation lawsuit against The McClatchy Company and others.
In Monday's complaint, Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, alleged that one of the news agency's reporters conspired with a political operative to derail Nunes' investigations into the Hillary Clinton campaign and Russian election interference.
The complaint accused the McClatchy reporter of spreading a variety of untruthful and misleading smears -- including that Nunes "was involved with cocaine and underage prostitutes" -- online and in print.
In March, Nunes filed a similar $250 million lawsuit alleging defamation against Twitter and one of its users.
"They need to retract everything they did against me, but they also need to come clean with the American people," Nunes said on "Hannity" Monday night. "Retract all of their fake news stories. This is part of the broader clean-up. Remember, a few weeks ago, I filed against Twitter -- they're censoring conservatives. McClatchy is one of the worst offenders of this. But we're coming after the rest of them. I think people are beginning to wake up now, I'm serious -- I'm coming to clean up the mess."
A spokesperson for McClatchy told Fox News late Monday: "We have no comment and stand behind the strong reporting of The Fresno Bee," the McClatchy-owned publication cited throughout Nunes' lawsuit.
On "Fox & Friends" Tuesday, Napolitano said he doesn't think Nunes has a case, pointing out that the congressman's argument is that he was smeared to hinder his effectiveness while he was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
"Now, what's the standard? The standard when a public person ... is bringing a defamation suit, that person has to show that the defendant -- the person you're suing -- published a knowing falsity ... or that they were reckless in their concern for truth or falsehood," Napolitano explained. "The standard is so high, the public figures never win."
He said public figures can sometimes get corrections or concessions, and he suggested that is what Nunes is really after, as opposed to the $150 million.
Napolitano said it may unfold differently for Kentucky high school student Nick Sandmann, who has filed similar multi-million dollar lawsuits against media organizations over their coverage of an encounter that went viral on social media, because Sandmann was not a public figure at the time.
"But Congressman Nunes is unmistakably a public figure. And I'm sure his lawyers know that, and they have to deal with it."
Watch more from the judge above, and don't miss him on "Liberty File" on Fox Nation.