Court Battles

Judge dismisses Nunes’ lawsuit against Fusion GPS

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. 

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.”

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.

Tags Christopher Steele Devin Nunes Devin Nunes Fusion GPS Fusion GPS Hillary Clinton Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Trump–Russia dossier
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