Elliott Broidy Can’t Sue Qatar in U.S. Over Hacking, Judge Says

(Bloomberg) -- Elliott Broidy can’t sue Qatar in U.S. court over allegations the Middle Eastern nation orchestrated a hack of the Republican fundraiser’s computer and leaked unflattering information to the media.

U.S. District Judge John Walter in Los Angeles on Wednesday granted Qatar’s request to be dismissed from the lawsuit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which limits U.S. court jurisdiction over foreign nations.

According to Broidy’s lawsuit, the hacks, which began in December and spanned several weeks, sought to punish him for trying to frustrate Qatar’s multimillion-dollar lobbying efforts to burnish its image in the U.S. capital and court Jewish leaders.

Qatar and a Washington attorney coordinated unflattering leaks to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News and other media outlets to depict Broidy as using his influence in the Trump administration to enrich himself and affect policy, according to the complaint.

"We agree with Judge Walter’s conclusion that ‘it may be an appropriate time for Congress to consider a cyber attack exception’ to outdated laws allowing foreign nations to commit crimes against Americans,” Broidy said in a statement. “Without a change to the law, our nation’s adversaries throughout the world will follow the example here to target those who oppose their anti-American agendas."

The case is Broidy Capital Management LLC v. State of Qatar, 18-cv-2421, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

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