Judge Won’t Dismiss Russians’ Libel Suit Against Fusion GPS Over Steele Dossier

A judge on Wednesday refused to throw out a libel suit filed by three Russian businessmen against Fusion GPS, the private investigation firm that produced a dossier documenting alleged ties between President Donald Trump and the Kremlin. The refusal was a victory for the businessmen who allege in the suit that Bean LLC, the parent company of Fusion GPS, and Fusion founder Glenn R. Simpson, libeled them by circulating a dossier with allegations that they had illicit ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin to media outlets and Washington elite without verifying the allegations. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon turned down Fusion’s motion to dismiss the suit on the grounds that the Russians are public figures and that District of Columbia law contains special provisions limiting lawsuits over political controversies. Leon said the public-figure status of the businessmen—owners of Russia’s Alfa Bank—was open to dispute and could not be properly resolved at this point in the litigation. The ruling means the suit will proceed.