Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian businessman named in the Steele Dossier, is suing BuzzFeed for its reporting about the dossier. The Daily Caller reports that the judge presiding over the lawsuit has ordered Fusion GPS to appear for a deposition conducted by the plaintiff’s lawyers. Representatives of the opposition research firm will have to answer a wide range of questions about the creation of the dossier, the investigation supporting it, and how it was disseminated. Gubarev’s lawyers want to question Fusion GPS executives to find out whether the dossier’s allegations about Gubarev were investigated and whether BuzzFeed News was warned about the accuracy of the claims.
Fusion GPS had claimed that their relationships with their clients were protected by the First Amendment. U.S. District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro rejected that theory, ruling the firm’s business relationships with its clients “are not protected from disclosure by the First Amendment even though the opposition research it conducts on behalf of clients may be political in nature.”
The case is scheduled to go to trial in Miami this November. Gubanev is also suing Christopher Steele in the UK.