Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page is suing the Democratic National Committee and the law firm that represented the committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for defamation.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division on Thursday morning, contends the DNC, Perkins Coie, and the law firm’s partners Marc Elias and Michael Sussman used a salacious and unverified dossier about President Trump’s alleged connections to Russia to spread falsehoods about Page.
“Defendants’ efforts mobilized the news media against Dr. Page, damaging his reputation, and effectively destroying his once-private life. The Defendants’ wrongful actions convinced many Americans that Dr. Page is a traitor to the United States, and as a result he has received — and continues to receive — multiple death threats,” the complaint said.
It continued, “Defendants misrepresented Dr. Page’s connections to and interactions with certain foreign nationals in order to create the false impression that Dr. Page — who served his country honorably in the United States Navy and in the private sector — was in fact an agent of a foreign power, Russia.”
The Justice Department and the FBI then used the allegations in obtaining Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against Page, the lawsuit noted.
“As a result, Dr. Page was wrongfully and covertly surveilled by the United States government,” the lawsuit said, “and has seen his reputation ruined and his personal safety threatened.”
The Justice Department recently concluded there was insufficient evidence to authorize the final two surveillance warrants of Page after the department’s inspector general found there were 17 “significant errors and omissions” related to its wiretapping of Page stretching from October 2016 to summer 2017.
The warrant applications relied on the dossier, which was compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele for opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm was hired by Clinton’s campaign and the DNC through Perkins Coie during the 2016 campaign.
“This is a first step to ensure that the full extent of the FISA abuse that has occurred during the last few years is exposed and remedied,” Carter’s lawyer John Pierce said a statement. “This is only the first salvo.”
The DNC and Perkins Coie did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Carter filed a similar lawsuit in Oklahoma in 2018 that was later dismissed after the judge ruled the court lacked jurisdiction over the case.