Politics & Government

Janz to help raise money for ‘Devin Nunes’ cow’ legal defense against congressman’s lawsuit

Andrew Janz, the Fresno prosecutor and Democrat who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, in November, has agreed to help fundraise for the legal defense of “Devin Nunes’ cow,” a Twitter account sued by Nunes this week.

Janz said Friday he will use his hybrid PAC, the Voter Protection Project, in partnership with the parody account, which has amassed more than 620,000 followers since news of Nunes’ lawsuit broke Monday. Nunes is suing Twitter, Republican political operative Liz Mair and two Twitter accounts: The cow and the since-suspended “Devin Nunes’ Mom.”

Any money raised that is not used for the defense “will go towards defeating Devin Nunes in 2020,” Janz said. He has not yet decided whether to challenge Nunes again.

Janz said he recently learned the identity of the person behind the cow account, but he declined to share it.

“We want to protect the identity of this average, working-class American,” Janz said. “This is not a political consultant or politco in any way, and this person is unaffiliated with my campaign.”

Janz said it was important to help this person who does not have the financial means or political power of Nunes defend against a “frivolous lawsuit.”

“Every first-year law student understands this type of lawsuit isn’t going anywhere,” Janz said. “I want to make sure that everyday Americans have their First Amendment rights protected – that they are free to go online and make fun of politicians, including myself.”

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Rory Appleton is a fourth-generation Fresnan who covers politics for his hometown newspaper. A Fresno State graduate, he has won six first-place California News Publishers Association awards and a McClatchy President’s Award for his reporting and column writing over the last two years.