Carter Page’s libel lawsuit against Oath, the parent company of Yahoo! News and HuffPost, has been thrown out, the New York Daily News reported.
Page, a former adviser to Pres. Donald Trump, sued Oath over a Sept. 2016 Yahoo! News article by Michael Isikoff that claimed “U.S. intelligence officers” were looking into whether Page “opened up private communications with senior Russian officials,” as iMediaEthics previously reported.
Politico uploaded a copy of the March 20 ruling.
Page claimed the Yahoo News article “falsely accused” him of “participating in an alleged conspiracy to commit crimes against the U.S. Democratic Party’s Leadership, not to mention a conspiracy to undermine American democracy and the 2016 U.S. election.” Page had sued for defamation and tortious interference with business relations, and notably, claimed the articles “constituted terrorism by creating a substantial risk of bodily injury,” the March 20 ruling stated.
The terrorism claim “fails as a matter of law,” the judge’s ruling states, because Page’s lawsuit “lacks sufficient factual allegations to state a claim.”
The judge, U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield, also noted that the Yahoo News article “does not say that Plaintiff actually met with the two Russians, but rather that U.S. officials had received reports of such meetings.” Further, the judge flagged that Page’s lawsuit didn’t “dispute that ‘reports’ were received, and instead confirms their existence; it describes the reports” as the Christopher Steele Russia dossier.
“Indeed, the 2016 Yahoo story appears to have been accurate,” Politico noted. “A House Republican memo declassified by President Donald Trump last month shows that just weeks after the Yahoo story was published, the FBI sought and obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant for Page’s communications because of suspicions that he was a conduit for Russian intelligence services.”
The judge’s ruling said that Page can submit an amended lawsuit, but “the Court believes that any effort to replead a federal claim against Oath or its subsidiaries would be futile, meaning that an amended complaint could not cure all of the infirmities described above.”
iMediaEthics wrote to Page for comment on the lawsuit; Page pointed us to his tweet saying “clever lawyers for powerful entitities often manage to briefly pull the wool over the eyes of busy District Court Judges” and that he plans to submit an “updated Complaint.”
“That’s my new Twitter account,” Page confirmed to iMediaEthics. “Besides for my most recent tweet, I don’t have more to say at this time. More to come next month.”
iMediaEthics has written to Oath for comment.
Similar to the slick maneuvers by Comey & McCabe in the FISC over recent years, clever lawyers for powerful entities often manage to briefly pull the wool over the eyes of busy District Court Judges. My future updated Complaint will shine an honest light and help restore justice.
— Carter Page, Ph.D. (@carterwpage) March 21, 2018
Despite this week’s dismissal of the Oath lawsuit, Page is still suing the Board of Broadcasting Governors over Radio Free Europe’s reporting, Politico noted.