by WorldTribune Staff, July 29, 2018
A federal judge in Miami is requiring the firm which played a major role in distributing the unverified Trump dossier to undergo a deposition in a libel suit filed by a Russian entrepreneur against the news site which first published Christopher Steele’s December 2016 memo in full.
Judge Ursula Ungaro ordered Fusion GPS to undergo the deposition in Aleksej Gubarev’s libel suit against BuzzFeed.
“The circumstances of the preparation of the December memo are highly relevant to the truth or falsity of the statements that are at the heart of this case,” Judge Ungaro’s ruling said.
The judge in U.S. District Court in Miami also ordered Fusion GPS to turn over written communications it had with Steele.
In the dossier, Steele accused Gubarev of hacking into Democratic Party computers on orders of Russian intelligence.
Gubarev, the developer of Webzilla computer servers, has denied the charge and says it damaged his global businesses, Rowan Scarborough noted in a July 28 report for The Washington Times.
Fusion, which paid Steele with money from the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic Party, “fought in court to avoid being questioned by Gubarev’s attorneys,” Scarborough reported. “Fusion lawyers cited the First Amendment and invasion of privacy into the investigator’s business practices and confidential clients.”
Judge Ungaro, however, “rejected just about all of those arguments, meaning a Fusion representative from its roster of former Wall Street Journal journalists will have to give testimony under oath,” Scarborough wrote.
Fusion GPS is not a defendant in the case.
Gubarev can ask Fusion about all the steps it and Steele took to obtain dossier information, but can not ask the identify of his Kremlin sources, the judge ruled.
Val Gurvits, Gubarev’s attorney, said that “Judge Ungaro is very engaged in this case and she saw through Fusion’s objections. I am certain that Fusion’s testimony will confirm what we have said all along, and what has now been independently established by the U.S. government: that the allegations in the December memorandum of Christopher Steel’s dossier against Alex Gubarev, XBT and Webzilla are absolutely false.”