Carter Page brings politically charged ‘Steele Dossier’ lawsuit to Chicago’s federal court
The lawsuit claims the local office of a massive law firm played a key role in a national drama.
A former adviser to President Donald Trump has filed a politically charged lawsuit over the so-called Steele Dossier in federal court in Chicago, claiming the local office of a massive law firm played a key role in the national drama it created.
Carter Page filed his 23-page complaint Thursday against the Democratic National Committee, DNC Services Corporation and Perkins Coie LLP and two of its partners, Marc Elias and Michael Sussman.
The allegations revolve around the 2016 presidential campaign and the political research firm Fusion GPS, which is not a defendant.
The lawsuit claims the relationship between the DNC, Perkins Coie, Elias and Fusion GPS “was orchestrated through Perkins Coie’s Chicago office.”
A Perkins Coie spokesperson said the complaint “recycles allegations by Carter Page that were dismissed by a federal judge in Oklahoma last year, and we expect that this latest lawsuit will likewise be dismissed.”
A DNC representative, Adrienne Watson, said Thursday in an email statement, “Carter Page’s baseless claims are recycled from his previous lawsuit, which was dismissed last year.”
The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber.
Page alleges the defendants “developed a dossier replete with falsehoods about numerous individuals associated with the Trump campaign — especially Dr. Page” and “convinced many Americans that Dr. Page is a traitor.” It also said they “mobilized the news media against Dr. Page, damaging his reputation, and effectively destroying his once-private life.”
He says Perkins Coie retained Fusion GPS in April 2016 to do research on behalf of the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. It alleges that Perkins Coie was paid $12.6 million for its services and, in turn, it paid Fusion GPS $1.02 million.
Of that, $168,000 allegedly made its way to Christopher Steele, who then compiled several memoranda that collectively became known as the “Steele Dossier.” It included references to Page, and Fusion GPS allegedly shared it with the press.
“That information was based entirely on unverified and unverifiable statements from unknown sources,” Page’s lawsuit claims.
The complaint points to four categories of defamatory statements against Page — the information in Steele’s reports, statements given to U.S. intelligence officials, the comments made to journalists and the resulting false news reports.
It also says Page began to get death threats, including one that said, “If it was up to me, after we f---ing tried you for treason, we’d take you out in the street and beat the f---ing piss out of you with baseball bats.”
Court records show Page filed a similar lawsuit in October 2018 in federal court in Oklahoma, only to have it tossed a year ago for lack of jurisdiction. This time around, Page has focused on the role played by Perkins Coie’s Chicago office.
The lawsuit also says Elias “was the lawyer for Illinois citizen Barack Obama from at least as early as 2006, including while Obama served as the preeminent leader of the DNC.” And it says, “the DNC has a historical pattern of making its principal place of business in Chicago.”