McClatchy filed a motion to dismiss Nunes' complaint, which was filed in Virginia's Sixteenth Judicial Court, arguing that the Delaware-based company does not fall under the jurisdiction of Virginia because it has no significant business in the state.
However, Judge Cheryl V. Higgins did not grant McClatchy's motion to dismiss the case but has granted Nunes discovery on the question. That means that McClatchy must prove that it does not have significant ties to Virginia by answering questions and providing information on assertions from Nunes. Higgins said the court may have to hear witness testimony on the question as well.
Higgins' ruling on Wednesday marks a limited ruling in favor of Nunes.
The Republican lawmaker filed defamation lawsuits against news outlets and journalists including McClatchy, CNN, Esquire, and leftwing journalist Ryan Lizza, whose pieces targeted Nunes as he investigated Democrats' involvement in the Russia collusion hoax.