Politics Judge dismisses Nunes' lawsuit against Fusion GPS

05:45  22 february  2020
05:45  22 february  2020 Source:   thehill.com

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The judge turned down Fusion ’s motion to dismiss the suit on the grounds that the Russians are public figures. Last month, a federal judge in Florida threw out a similar lawsuit another Russian businessman mentioned in the dossier, Aleksej Gubarev, filed against BuzzFeed over its publication

Devin Nunes filed a lawsuit against opposition research firm Fusion GPS and the CfA, accusing them of smearing him over his investigation into the Devin Nunes is suing Fusion GPS , the firm behind the Steele dossier, and a liberal watchdog group. The Republican accuses Fusion GPS and Campaign

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, filed in 2019 against Fusion GPS, the firm at the heart of the controversy surrounding Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Devin Nunes wearing a suit and tie: Judge dismisses Nunes' lawsuit against Fusion GPS © Greg Nash Judge dismisses Nunes' lawsuit against Fusion GPS

Judge Liam O'Grady of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia wrote in a two-page ruling that Nunes's complaint was too vague to move forward with a civil case and that the Virginia court was not the appropriate setting for the suit.

"Defendants raise significant questions and make meritorious arguments as to both the sufficiency of the factual pleadings and the Court's jurisdiction over these Defendants," wrote O'Grady, a President George W. Bush appointee. "The Amended Complaint includes many rote statements of law and conclusory allegations which fall short of satisfying the pleading standard."

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The Nunes lawsuit alleges Fusion GPS participated in racketeering and conspiracy smear campaign Nunes and the House Intelligence Committee House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes appears on Fox News with the Tick-Tock club to discuss a lawsuit he has filed (full pdf below)

Nunes had sought $9.9 million in damages from Fusion GPS, its founder Glenn Simpson and a nonprofit watchdog group, Campaign for Accountability. Nunes claimed he was a victim of "active, coordinated and ongoing corruption, fraud and obstruction of justice" by the defendants. He said the alleged campaign against him was due to his investigation on the Intelligence panel into the firm's role in raising allegations over Trump's ties to Russia.

Fusion GPS was the firm that produced the Steele dossier, which was the result of a project for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The document, named for its author, former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, produced raw intelligence on connections between Trump and his allies and Russia.

Nunes said in his suit that the defendants targeted him with a litany of ethics complaints and negative publicity after he challenged the dossier's veracity.

O'Grady said in his ruling that he would allow an adjusted version of the suit to be filed within 30 days, but that Nunes would have to steer clear of violating a federal law against court filings that are frivolous or unsupported by evidence.

Nunes's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

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