Democratic opposition research firm Fusion GPS cannot stop the House intelligence committee from ascertaining who paid for the infamous Trump dossier and leaked it to the media ahead of the 2016 presidential election, a federal judge ruled on Thursday night.
According to documents obtained by Buzzfeed News, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon denied Fusion GPS’s request for an injunction. Fusion GPS argued that such forced disclosure would violate the agency’s First Amendment protections.
“Because I find all of Fusion’s objections to the subpoena to be unavailing,” Judge Leon wrote in his opinion.
NEW: A judge has denied Fusion GPS' request for an injunction blocking the House Intel committee from subpoenaing a bank for records about Fusion's financial transactions https://t.co/WdJ1pUW6E0 pic.twitter.com/QAFfYKpFjZ
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) January 4, 2018
“The Subpoena at issue in today’s case,” Leon wrote, “was issued pursuant to a constitutionally authorized investigation by a Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives with jurisdiction over intelligence and intelligence-related activities — activities designed to protect us from potential cyber-attacks now and in the future. The Subpoena seeks the production of records that have a ‘reasonable possibility’ … of producing information relevant to that constitutionally authorized investigation.”
“Although the records sought by the Subpoena are sensitive in nature — and merit the use of appropriate precautions by the Committee to ensure they are not publicly disclosed — the nature of the records themselves, and the Committee’s procedures designed to ensure their confidentiality, more than adequately protect the sensitivity of that information,” the judge continued.
Memorably, Leon pointed out to Fusion GPS that the First Amendment was not a “secrecy pact.”
“While the opposition research Fusion conducted on behalf of its clients may have been political in nature, Fusion’s commercial relationship with those clients was not, and thus that relationship does not provide Fusion with some special First Amendment protection from subpoenas,” Leon wrote. “To recast a line from the great Justice Robert H. Jackson, the First Amendment is not a secrecy pact!”
It appears that Fusion GPS will have to give up its secrecy and disclose who paid for the Trump dossier. It will go a long way to determining how an orchestrated Democrat and media hitjob against presidential candidate Donald Trump came to fruition.
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