On Sunday, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) speculated that Joe Biden’s administration would employ “computer-generated images” to spoof the president’s remarks.
After being questioned about Biden’s performance at a recent CNN town hall, Nunes made the statements during an appearance on Fox News.
“You know it’s getting bad when the propaganda machine that the Democratic socialists control in this country — they control 95% of the media or so,” he opined. “And then you take the big tech oligarchs that control and censor what we receive via social media. When that poison gets to the average independent American, that propaganda, you know it’s bad when they can’t even find a 15- or 30-second soundbite out of a full-hour town hall that they can plug into their own propaganda machine.”
Nunes then added: “I mean, it’s getting really bad. It’s not just the president. They can’t get any soundbites from the vice president either.”
“They’re almost to the point where they’re going to have to start using computer-generated graphics in order to give to the propaganda machine because they can’t get good clips to sell what they’re trying to sell here in Washington, which are policies that are running the country into the ground,” the Republican lawmaker claimed.
Nunes made headlines back in mid-June after a judge ordered employees at a dairy farm owned by Rep. Devin Nunes’ father and brother to present evidence confirming their immigration status. The court also singled out attorney Steven Biss, who is best known for representing the Republican congressman in a series of failed defamation lawsuits against news organizations, for his “puzzling and worrisome” explanation of a dairy farm employee’s deposition.
The complaint stems from a 2018 story titled “Devin Nunes’s Family Farm Is Hiding a Politically Explosive Secret,” which claimed that NuStar Farms, LLC, the Nunes family’s dairy farm, intentionally used undocumented immigrants.
The eight-page ruling came in response to a motion filed by attorneys representing Hearst Magazine Media, Inc. (Hearst owns and publishes Esquire) on their initial attempt to depose one of the dairy farm employees, who is referred to as F.S.D. in court filings.
When counsel tried to question F.S.D. about legal documents that carried his signature, Biss “asserted argumentative objections that were disruptive and intended to intimidate or coach the witness,” according to Esquire’s filing. Biss refuted the charge, stating he just wanted to “call out the Defendants’ overt harassment of the NuStar employee.” Judge Roberts, on the other hand, found Biss’ argument “puzzling and troubling.”
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“Mr. Biss made a lengthy speaking objection claiming this was harassment,” Roberts wrote. “Here, where the identity and immigration status of the employees is a central issue, it is not harassing or irrelevant to ask questions about such documents. In the context of this case, it is not conducive to obtaining truthful answers from an employee such as F.S.D. to have his employer’s lawyer making lengthy, animated objections to those questions.”
Judge Roberts went on to state that “the most puzzling and troubling aspect” of Biss’s “behavior” concerned his decision to seek a sidebar with F.S.D.’s attorney to determine “whether the witness wanted to take the Fifth Amendment.”
The sidebar began shortly after F.S.D.’s attorney Justin Allen stated that he had urged F.S.D. to invoke the Fifth Amendment in response to queries about legal documents bearing his signature, which lasted roughly two hours, according to the court. F.S.D.’s attorney told Esquire’s counsel that he was no longer representing F.S.D., and Biss declared the deposition was over pending rescheduling when the attorneys returned to the deposition room.
“Normally, one would expect the lawyer for a deponent to be in the best position to ascertain whether the deponent desires to assert a privilege,” Judge Roberts wrote. “Mr. Biss makes bald assurances that the employees want to answer all questions and not assert their Fifth Amendment rights. Nevertheless, Mr. Biss’s behavior—coupled with the facts that (a) the privilege was raised, (b) the privilege was perhaps withdrawn after a lengthy sidebar, and (c) Mr. Allen was fired—gives me little confidence that F.S.D. could make a knowing waiver of his Fifth Amendment rights under these circumstances.”
Biss and all of NuStar’s attorneys were ordered to read a court case in order to provide “instruction on appropriate behavior” involving attorneys forcing witnesses not to defend their rights, however, the judge made it clear that he had made no decision on whether such pressure occurred.
Furthermore, Roberts instructed Biss and all other NuStar attorneys to “inform the [NuStar] employees of their obligation to search for the requested [citizenship] documents and bring the documents to the deposition, if they still possess them,” warning that the employees “may be asked about their efforts to comply at the deposition.”
You can view the document orders here.