Leftist publications ridiculed California Republican lawmaker Devin Nunes this week over a Trump Justice Department subpoena withdrawn under the new Biden administration that sought to unmask a parody Twitter account.
The Justice Department under Trump, went the tale narrated in an MSNBC column Thursday, attempted to abuse its power with a grand jury subpoena to find the identity of an online troll who was targeting one of the president’s top allies.
Twitter filed a motion in response to quell the subpoena and protect the anonymous user’s identity, who goes by @NunesAlt. The company mocked Nunes in the process as a thin-skinned politician engaging in “repeated efforts to unmask individuals behind parody accounts critical of him.”
Other outlets perpetuated the narrative peddled by MSNBC and Twitter that the Trump Justice Department took undue advantage of its subpoena power to intimidate an anonymous parody Twitter personality. The usual culprits participated, including Vanity Fair, Washington Post, and New York Magazine.
Subsequent reporting from The New York Times on Wednesday evening, however, shows Nunes likely had nothing to do with the subpoena filed by the Trump Justice Department.
The Times wrote the DOJ effort to identify the user behind the account was related to an online threat targeted at Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The paper explained in the first line:
The Trump-era Justice Department’s attempt to identify the person behind a Twitter account devoted to mocking Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California, stemmed from a U.S. Capitol Police investigation into a purported online threat to Senator Mitch McConnell, not to Mr. Nunes, according to two law enforcement officials.
While MSNBC reported federal prosecutors who pursued the case failed to show the specific threat to warrant the reveal, the Times wrote, “the offending post had since been deleted or removed,” citing one of the officials consulted.
The paper reported law enforcement officials said the post in question came from a threat to McConnell around the time he drew bitter backlash from Democrats when he pledged to move forward with the confirmation process of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
“The new information suggests that Mr. Nunes, whose office has not responded to a request for comment, may have had any role in the subpoena,” the Times wrote.
A Nunes spokesman did respond to The Federalist.