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Carter Page Loses Appeal Over Tossed Russia Defamation Lawsuit

Dec. 2, 2019, 6:22 PM

Former Trump adviser Carter Page won’t get another chance to litigate defamation claims against the U.S. Agency for Global Media and media company Oath Inc. for statements they made in articles about his alleged connections to Russian officials, the Second Circuit ruled Dec. 2.

Page, who represented himself on appeal, argued that the district court failed to view the facts in the light most favorable to him when it dismissed his case, which included claims of terrorism, defamation, and tortious interference. That argument failed to persuade the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which also ruled Page’s claims were rightfully tossed as a matter of law.

The terrorism claims, brought by Page against the government agency and Oath under the Anti-Terrorism Act, were properly dismissed due to jurisdiction issues and merit, respectively, the court said. The act precludes claims against any U.S. entity, and Page didn’t provide enough evidence for his claims against Oath, according to the three-judge appellate panel.

“As the district court correctly held, Page failed to allege any facts suggesting that the articles in question were intended to intimidate or coerce civilians, influence government policy, or affect government conduct,” the court said.

Page’s “conclusory assertions that defamation and propaganda are acts of terrorism” were insufficient to state an ATA claim, the court said.

The Second Circuit also held that the district court properly dismissed Page’s claims brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act, saying he failed to exhaust all administrative remedies.

The district court further lacked diversity jurisdiction over Page’s state-law claims, according to the appellate ruling.

Circuit Judges Amalya L. Kearse, Richard J. Sullivan, and Michael H. Park joined in the decision.

The case is Page v. United States Agency for Global Media, 2d Cir., No. 18-2295-cv, 12/2/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: David McAfee in Los Angeles at dmcAfee@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Patrick L. Gregory at pgregory@bloomberglaw.com