Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, and his attorney, are facing serious sanctions from a federal court for filing frivolous lawsuits on behalf of the congressman and other clients, according to The Fresno Bee.
Steven Biss, who represents Nunes, could soon be sanctioned by courts in response to motions filed by defendants of those being sued by the California representative:
“People and organizations that Nunes’ attorney, Steven Biss, is suing have begun asking judges to punish him in several other instances.
“Three of the requests for sanctions – from National Public Radio, Twitter and a government whistleblower advocate – mark an escalation in their defense against defamation lawsuits Biss has filed.”
More recently, Fusion GPS — which created the so-called “Steele dossier” that alleged President Donald Trump has various connections to Russia which may have left him vulnerable to blackmail by Russian oligarchs and other entities with close ties to the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin — has asked the court to punish Biss:
“Biss and Nunes resubmitted the case in early April with a complaint that largely resembles their original argument. Fusion GPS’ lawyers last week called Nunes’ new complaint ‘absurd’ and asked the judge to sanction Biss and Nunes.
Nunes ‘ignored that warning,’ the Fusion GPS motion reads, arguing the new complaint ‘is so packed with irrelevant, frivolous and malicious allegations that it is impossible to decipher what conduct (Nunes) alleges is unlawful.'”
Nunes isn’t the only client Biss could face sanctions for representing, The Bee notes. There’s also a Russian grad student who has been described in news reports as being associated with a millionaire who circulated conspiracy theories suggesting foul play in the death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich:
“In dismissing the case for the Russian graduate student in February, Judge Leonie Brinkema of the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia warned Biss against filing ‘further inappropriate pleadings.'”
Such warnings from a federal judge are highly unusual and suggest the court is fed up with Biss and his filings, according to Kevin Martingayle, the former president of the Virginia State Bar:
“’If I got one warning like that from a judge, I would be extremely careful going forward,’ Martingayle said.
“’I can’t recall seeing it in an order after practicing law for 30 years, which has included some pretty contentious defamation cases,’ he added.”
The most likely penalty that might be handed down against Biss and Nunes would be of a financial nature, i.e substantial fines.
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