Nunes demands parody 'DevinCow' Twitter account stop making fun of him

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Devin Nunes' lawyer said that stopping the account from making fun of the congressman is 'a matter of grave import and enormous consequence.'

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) accused his 2018 Democratic opponent of being behind a parody Twitter account that mocks Nunes and raises money for Nunes' opponents, and demanded that the account cease and desist its actions, McClatchy reported on Tuesday.

Nunes already filed a lawsuit in March against Twitter, saying they are responsible for allowing the parody account @DevinCow to operate.

Now, however, Nunes and his lawyer, Sten Bliss, claim that Nunes' 2018 opponent Andrew Janz is either behind the @DevinCow account or knows who operates it, according to a letter obtained by McClatchy. And Nunes is demanding that Janz tell the @DevinCow account to apologize to Nunes and stop making fun of him.

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In the letter, written by Bliss, Bliss calls the need to stop @DevinCow from making fun of Nunes "a matter of grave import and enormous consequence."

"Based on the evidence I have reviewed, it appears that you or an agent or agents acting at your discretion is coordinating, instigating, aiding and abetting the user or users of the @DevinCow Twitter account in the malicious harassment, cyberbullying, stalking and defamation of Mr. Nunes," Bliss wrote in his letter, later demanding that Janz stop the account from parodying him, make the account operator apologize to Nunes, and then ensure the account is deleted within one business day of the apology.

Janz, through his lawyer, said that he has no way of meeting Nunes' demands and said that Nunes' letter was an attempt to silence his political detractors.

Janz "does not control the account, or the content of its communications, and cannot cause it to issue a retraction or an apology, or to dissolve," Janz's lawyer, Andrew Harris Werbrock, wrote in a response letter to Nunes' attorney, according to McClatchy.

"Second, even if he could cause the account to issue a retraction, he would not, as your letter does not state any valid basis for doing so," Werbrock added in the letter, McClatchy reported.

Legal experts agreed with Janz's side.

"I'm not sure what the legal theory is, and in all seriousness, you can be aware of a fake Twitter account, but if you don't control it, you have no legal authority over it," Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, told McClatchy.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.