Former Trump White House lawyer Stefan Passantino sued Andrew Weissmann, former deputy to Robert Mueller, on Friday for libel, a copy of the legal complaint shows.
Passantino claimed that Weissmann intended to defame him in a September tweet when he allegedly referred to the lawyer as “the one who coached [Cassidy Hutchinson] to lie,” according to the court document.
The complaint alleges that Weissmann “chose to smear” Passantino to advance his “career as a partisan political pundit.”
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“As with all my clients during my 30 years of practice, I represented Ms. Hutchinson honorably, ethically, and fully consistent with her sole interests as she communicated them to me (and others) while I represented her,” Passantino told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “As Ms. Hutchinson herself testified, I never counseled her to lie. I have never counseled a client to mislead anyone.”
The former Trump lawyer represented Hutchinson, a former White House aide, during the Jan. 6 Committee’s investigation, the complaint says. Hutchinson made several statements during the hearing that were later brought into question.
“Anyone who takes the time to read the transcripts in which I represent Ms. Hutchinson or to learn anything about me will know this one-sided caricature of me is false,” Passantino told the DCNF. “I have already initiated legal action arising from the January 6 Committee’s unlawful and unethical conduct. This country has defamation laws for a reason, and I intend to avail myself of them – starting today.”
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“Defendant attacked Mr. Passantino as a means of distracting from and rehabilitating the contradictory and uncredible aspects of Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony, as they undermine the Select Committee and its partisan findings and purpose,” the complaint alleges. “Defendant’s smear has deeply damaged Mr. Passantino’s 30-year reputation and had caused him to lose significant business and income. Mr. Passantino seeks to hold Defendant accountable for this vicious lie and the damages it has wrought.”
Passantino is seeking $75,000 in damages, according to the complaint.
Weissmann did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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