Rep. Devin Nunes is taking Fusion GPS to court.
The California Republican filed racketeering charges against the opposition research firm and is looking for $9.9 million in damages. The federal lawsuit was filed Wednesday against Fusion GPS as well as its founder Glenn Simpson and the Campaign for Accountability, the left-leaning watchdog group which used the firm’s research against Nunes, according to Fox News.
(Video: Fox News/YouTube)
“I was often smeared,” the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee told Fox News’ “Hannity” on Wednesday night. “And now, what we know is, there’s a link between those who were doing the smearing and Fusion GPS.”
Nunes filed the 35-page complaint in the Eastern District of Virginia alleging that the Campaign for Accountability(CfA), Fusion GPS and Simpson’s “racketeering activities” were “part of a joint and systematic effort to intimidate, harass, threaten, influence, interfere with, impede, and ultimately to derail” the investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia.
“When we were investigating Fusion GPS, they were actively involved in working to smear me to obstruct justice, to derail our investigation — and so, I’m gonna hold these guys accountable, and this is just one of many steps we’re gonna continue to take,” he said Wednesday.
“The bank records produced by Fusion GPS revealed that the Clinton campaign, the DNC and Perkins Coie paid for Fusion GPS’ anti-Trump research,” the lawsuit stated.
Nunes’ lawsuit cited an article from The Daily Caller earlier this month which reported that the Campaign for Accountability paid Fusion GPS close to $140,000 when it hired the company as an “independent contractor” in 2018.
The watchdog group, which Nunes described as a “dark money, partisan, left-wing” nonprofit, and Fusion GPS, which he called “a political war room for hire that specializes in dirty tricks and smears,” then worked “in concert” to obstruct Republican investigators and to “chill reporting of Fusion GPS and Simpson’s wrongdoing.”
Nunes’ complaint claimed that the tactics against him began after Simpson “lied” before the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017 in closed-door testimony and before the Senate Judiciary Committee in August 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 lawsuit stated.
“In furtherance of their conspiracy, the Defendants, acting in concert and with others, filed fraudulent and retaliatory ‘ethics’ complaints against Plaintiff that were solely designed to harass and intimidate Plaintiff, to undermine his Russia investigation, and to protect Simpson, Fusion GPS and others from criminal referrals,” the filing alleged.
CfA filed complaints with the Office of Congressional Ethics accusing Nunes of leaking private text messages and, in a March 2018 complaint, alleged he had “violated federal law and House ethics rules by failing to include information on his personal financial disclosure forms and accepting an impermissible gift.”
“Defendants’ corrupt acts of racketeering are part of their regular way of doing business,” Nunes’ lawsuit concluded. “That way of doing business must end here and now.”
Nunes told Hannity Wednesday that he is looking to the courts to “fix a lot of this mess.”
“We have to go to the courts,” he said. “Ultimately, people have to be held accountable.”
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