Federal judge dismisses Nunes' Fusion GPS suit

The lawsuit, which sought nearly $10 million in damages, did not meet a high enough evidentiary standard to proceed, ruled the judge.

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Devin Nunes
Devin Nunes
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Updated: February 24, 2020 - 1:04pm

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GOP Rep. Devin Nunes’ lawsuit against political research firm Fusion GPS will not be going forward.

A federal judge in Alexandria, Va., on Friday dismissed the racketeering lawsuit brought by the California lawmaker and former chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Last year, Nunes accused Fusion GPS of hindering the committee's investigation into Russian election interference. The lawsuit sought nearly $10 million in damages and also named as a defendant the nonprofit watchdog group Campaign for Accountability.

The judge, Liam O’Grady, a George W. Bush appointee, cited in his dismissal issues with the plaintiff's pleadings and the court's jurisdiction for the case.  

“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,” O'Grady wrote.

He also ruled that the complaint fell “short of satisfying the pleading standard.”

O’Grady will allow a revised suit to be filed within a month, but made it clear that the new version must clear a higher evidentiary bar. Presenting evidence in a revised suit that fails to meet that standard could result in sanctions against Nunes and Steven Biss, his attorney.

Ahead of the 2016 election, Democrats paid Fusion GPS to look into then-candidate Trump’s connections to Russia.

Former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele compiled what has come to be called the "Steele Dossier" as an element of that work.

A Justice Department Inspector General report from December 2019 found that the FBI was unable to substantiate any of the key claims in the dossier.

 

 

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