Former President Donald Trump's recently filed lawsuit against Hillary Clinton actually might help hide details of efforts to undermine Trump and his 2016 campaign, Politico reported.
Court filings released Tuesday showed that attorneys for the private investigation firm Fusion GPS argued that details of confidential discussions about the since discredited Steele Dossier should remain secret, Politico reported.
The lawyers argued, in part, that Trump's litigiousness, which was at the heart of the decision to hire Fusion, enhances the desire to conceal specifics of Fusion's work via attorney-client privilege.
In a court filing connected to the criminal prosecution of Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann and the campaign's general counsel, Marc Elias contends that Fusion played a role in his effort to guard the Clinton camp and the Democratic National Convention from Trump as they prepared to attack his business record and foreign entanglements, Politico reported.
Fusion's research into Trump's litigation history — which entailed more than 7,000 lawsuits before he served as president — could have helped protect Democrats from libel suits and similar court claims as they sought to denigrate Trump's track record, the filing said.
"I generally recall candidate Trump had been involved in an exceptionally high number of lawsuits — ranging from slip-and-falls to complex bankruptcies and restructuring — more than I recall ever previously encountering on behalf of a client in the political arena," Elias wrote in a declaration signed Monday.
"I also generally remember being aware that he had used the threat of defamation litigation for tactical advantage and had filed and threatened meritless claims of defamation in the past."
Late last month, Trump sued Clinton, and several other Democrats, alleging that they tried to rig that election by tying his campaign to Russia.
Sussmann has been charged by special counsel John Durham with lying to the FBI during the Trump-Russia investigation. His trial is set for May 16 in Washington's federal court.
The Federal Election Commission fined Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign and the DNC for lying about funding the discredited dossier, which attempted to smear then-candidate Trump.
The FEC said Clinton and the DNC violated strict rules on describing expenditures of payments funneled to Fusion GPS through their law firm, Perkins Coie.
The Clinton campaign and the DNC have said that the dossier prepared for Fusion by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele was part of legal work done by Elias.
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