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.
Nunes claims that the ethics complaints were "fraudulent and retaliatory." He also claims that Glenn Simpson, a founder of Fusion GPS, lied on at least two occasions with regard to the Steele "dossier":
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.
This could prove interesting. Much, if not all, of Fusion GPS' dossier related activities are probably non-criminal. However, Nunes will certainly make extensive discovery demands that will quite likely oppose Democrat networks, both of communications and of money.