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Judge who donated to Trump won't recuse himself from dossier case: report

Judge who donated to Trump won't recuse himself from dossier case: report
© Greg Nash

A federal judge who was appointed by President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE and who donated to Trump’s presidential campaign says he won’t recuse himself from a court case involving Fusion GPS, the research firm behind the controversial Trump-Russia dossier.

ABC News reports U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden refused a request from Fusion GPS’s attorneys to recuse himself from the case.

“Fusion’s argument that I should look beyond the traditional grounds of disqualification to consider President Trump’s alleged political interests proves too much,” McFadden wrote in an opinion. “Such an argument would lead to the disqualification of numerous judges appointed by the sitting president on a wide range of cases.”

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The court case revolves around Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian businessman whose name appears in the dossier. Gubarev is suing BuzzFeed News for libel for publishing the dossier, saying the dossier contains false information about him and his business.

Fusion asked McFadden, who was randomly assigned in December to oversee a subpoena for the firm in the case, to recuse himself over his connections to Trump.

Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show McFadden gave Trump’s presidential campaign a total of $1,000 in Oct. 2016. McFadden also volunteered as a “vetter” on Trump’s presidential transition team, according to ABC News.

McFadden refused to recuse himself, saying he’s never met Trump “in any capacity” and calling the connection between the two men “tenuous.”

“I decline Fusion's invitation to decide its motion based on the alleged connection between the motion and President Trump's political interests,” McFadden wrote, according to ABC News. “The President's connection with me and his interest in this case are simply too tenuous to cause a reasonable observer to question my impartiality."

The dossier has been a source of controversy, and recently re-entered the spotlight as part of a Republican-crafted memo alleging bias within the Justice Department.

The document accuses senior Justice Department officials of improperly using information from the dossier to obtain surveillance warrants on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Last month, Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, sued BuzzFeed News for defamation over the publication of the dossier. BuzzFeed has stood by its decision, arguing the dossier was of significant public interest.