90 Miles From Tyranny : Devin Nunes accuses Fusion GPS of racketeering in federal lawsuit

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Devin Nunes accuses Fusion GPS of racketeering in federal lawsuit

Congressman Devin Nunes filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against opposition research firm Fusion GPS, its founder Glenn Simpson, and left-leaning watchdog group Campaign for Accountability, accusing them of “racketeering” and interfering with his congressional Trump-Russia investigation.

Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee until Democrats won the majority in 2018, claimed that Simpson, Fusion GPS, and the Campaign for Accountability illegally conspired to “harass” him in an attempt to “hinder, delay, prevent, or dissuade” him from looking into issues surrounding the federal investigation into the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and to scare him off from investigating possible wrongdoing by Simpson and Fusion GPS.

The California Republican is asking the judge to award him $9.9 million in damages.

The 35-page complaint Nunes filed in the Eastern District of Virginia today pointed to a Daily Caller article from early August that revealed the Campaign for Accountability hired Fusion GPS as an “independent contractor” in 2018 and paid the firm close to $140,000 for research. And the Nunes lawsuit alleged the watchdog group and the opposition research firm then colluded to target him and stymie his efforts, pointing to three ethics complaints filed by the Campaign for Accountability allegedly “in concert with” Fusion GPS in an effort to “chill reporting of Fusion GPS and Simpson’s wrongdoing” and to dissuade Nunes from making criminal referrals to the Justice Department.

Nunes described Fusion GPS as “a political war room for hire that specializes in dirty tricks and smears” and the Campaign for Accountability as a “dark money, partisan, left-wing” nonprofit that he said targets mainly conservatives.

Daniel Stevens, the executive director for the Campaign for Accountability, told the Washington Examiner, “We look forward to vigorously defending ourselves against this obviously frivolous and baseless lawsuit.” Stevens told the Daily Caller in August that his organization “did not hire Fusion to look into Devin Nunes or coordinate with the firm regarding our ethics complaints against Devin Nunes.”

Fusion GPS did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.

Fusion GPS was hired by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee in 2016 through the Perkins Coie law firm, and the opposition research firm in turn hired British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who made salacious allegations regarding President Trump and Russia in an unverified dossier. Marc Elias, a Perkins Coie lawyer and the Clinton campaign’s general counsel, provided briefings to the Clinton campaign related to what Fusion GPS and Steele had uncovered. The DOJ and FBI also...

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