Devin Nunes' Lawyer Continues To Use Unrelated Case To Try To Unearth Satirical Internet Cow Account - 2020-02-18

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F0.png Devin Nunes' Lawyer Continues To Use Unrelated Case To Try To Unearth Satirical Internet Cow Account February 18, 2020, Mike Masnick, TechDirt

A few weeks back, we wrote about a bizarre situation in which Rep. Devin Nunes' lawyer, Steven Biss, appeared to be using his subpoena power to seek out info about Twitter accounts related to some of Devin Nunes' lawsuits -- but in an unrelated case. The whole story was crazy. As you've likely heard, Nunes has been suing (among other things) an account holder of the satirical @DevinCow Twitter account. While that case continues to plod on, Biss tried to subpoena Twitter for the account holder's identity (along with information on political consultant Adam Parkhomenko) in a totally unrelated case, involving breach of contract claims following a settlement of an earlier defamation lawsuit involving a well-known civil liberties lawyer, Jesselyn Radack, and a PR guy, Trevor FitzGibbon.

Part of the claims in that breach of contract lawsuit is that Radack may have been communicating with third party accounts to say things about FitzGibbon, after the settlement involved an agreement not to speak publicly about him. So, there could be some reasonable areas in which Biss might seek evidence that Radack is communicating about FitzGibbon, but (1) so far most of the fishing expedition seems to be based on pure random speculation, (2) sending a subpoena to Twitter, rather than the users in question, is simply the wrong way to do things, and (3) most importantly, the inclusion of the Devin Cow account and the Parkhomenko account -- when there appears to be zero public evidence that either the cow or Parkhomenko even knew who Radack or FitzGibbon were -- is especially questionable.

Indeed, in moving to quash the subpoena, Twitter called out Biss' fishing expedition, claiming that the attempt to unearth the details behind the @DevinCow appeared to have been done "for an improper purpose: to end-run around discovery disputes in an unrelated lawsuit."

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Mike | last = Masnick | title = Devin Nunes' Lawyer Continues To Use Unrelated Case To Try To Unearth Satirical Internet Cow Account | url = https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200218/22294243945/devin-nunes-lawyer-continues-to-use-unrelated-case-to-try-to-unearth-satirical-internet-cow-account.shtml | work = TechDirt | date = February 18, 2020 | accessdate = March 16, 2020 }}