Judge dismisses Nunes lawsuit against Fusion GPS

Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, John Ratcliffe

FILE – In this Dec. 9, 2019 file photo, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, confers with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, during a break as the House Judiciary Committee considers the investigative findings in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington. New documents released on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, by House Democrats suggest that Nunes was more deeply involved than was previously known in efforts by allies of President Donald Trump to dig up dirt in Ukraine on former Vice President Joe Biden. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Friday dismissed a racketeering lawsuit brought by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes against the political research firm that enlisted a former British spy to look into Donald Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Nunes, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a vocal ally of Trump, had accused Fusion GPS in a lawsuit last year of harassing him and trying to impede his panel’s investigation into Russian election interference.

The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, and also named a nonprofit advocacy group as a defendant, sought nearly $10 million in damages.

Lawyers for Fusion denied the allegations, and U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady dismissed the lawsuit in a two-page order Friday.

“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.

Fusion GPS was paid by Democrats in 2016 to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia ahead of the election. As part of that work, Fusion enlisted a former British operative named Christoper Steele, who compiled his research into a series of files that came to be known colloquially as the Steele dossier.

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