Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit against Fusion GPS and the Democratic group called Campaign for Government Accountability. According to Nunes, he was smeared for investigating Christopher Steele's dossier, which was then used to launch the probe into the Trump campaign's dealings with Russia. As chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee, Nunes pushed to investigate Fusion GPS and the Steele dossier that lead to the Russia probe.
From the Daily Caller:
The complaint, which the California Republican filed in federal court in Virginia, alleges that Fusion GPS and Campaign for Accountability (CfA) worked on a “joint and systematic effort to intimidate, harass, threaten, influence, interfere with, impede, and ultimately to derail” Nunes’ investigation of the dossier, which he directed as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).
In the lawsuit, Nunes draws a link between CfA payments to Fusion GPS and a string of ethics complaints that the watchdog group filed against him last year.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported Aug. 1 that CfA’s 2018 tax filings show the group paid Fusion GPS nearly $140,000 unspecified research activities.
CfA filed three complaints against Nunes with the Office of Congressional Ethics. In a Jan. 25, 2018 complaint, CfA accused Nunes of leaking sensitive House Intelligence Committee information about Fusion GPS.
In his complaint, Nunes claimed Fusion GPS owner Glenn Simpson lied during Congressional testimony.
Nunes contends that Fusion GPS and Simpson have also retaliated against him for fear that the Republican would submit criminal referrals against Simpson over testimony he gave HPSCI and the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017.
Nunes accuses Simpson of lying in his HPSCI testimony on Nov. 14, 2017 when he said that he had contact with the Justice Department and FBI regarding the dossier only after the 2016 election. Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official whose wife was a contractor at Fusion GPS, testified on Aug. 28, 2018 that he and Simpson met in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 22, 2016.
Nunes also claims that Simpson lied during his Senate testimony on Aug. 22, 2017 when he denied having a client for Trump-related work after the 2016 election. A non-profit group called The Democracy Integrity Project hired Fusion GPS and Steele’s London-based firm in 2017.
“Fearing a criminal referral for his false statements to the FBI and DOJ, for lying to Congress and the Senate, and for obstructing the House Intelligence Committee in its Russia investigation, the Defendants directly and aggressively retaliated against Plaintiff, employing the same or similar means and methods as Fusion GPS and Simpson have employed multiple times in the past to smear the opposition,” the complaint says.
Nunes is seeking $9.9 million in damages for complaints that he says were “fraudulent and retaliatory."
The Campaign for Government Accountability plans to fight the lawsuit.
“We have not received a copy of the complaint, but we look forward to vigorously defending ourselves against this obviously frivolous and baseless lawsuit,” Daniel Stevens, executive director of Campaign for Accountability, told the Fresno Bee.