Broadcast journalist Sharyl Attkisson was proven unsuccessful Friday in her latest bid to sue the Obama administration over alleged illegal surveillance.
A panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 to affirm the dismissal of a lawsuit initiated more than four years ago by Ms. Attkisson, a former investigative reporter for CBS News who currently hosts a program carried by the conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Ms. Attkisson sued former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., the FBI and others in late 2014 after supposedly noticing several “anomalies in numerous electronic devices” at her home in Leesburg, Virginia, including problems with her phone and computers.
She alleged she was being spied on over her reporting of the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal, although the Justice Department’s inspector general failed to corroborate her claims and eventually the suit was dismissed in D.C. federal court.
Lawyers for Ms. Attkisson subsequently appealed in the 4th Circuit, where they were rebuffed over their handling of the case in an opinion written by U.S. Circuit Judge Robert B. King.
“The plaintiffs contravened multiple rules and court orders while failing to alert the district court to any problems justifying their actions,” he wrote for the majority. “And they acted in the face of explicit instructions from the court and the magistrate judge. Those circumstances support the dismissal with prejudice of their claims.”
Paul Schiff Berman, a lawyer for Ms. Attkisson, said the appeals court’s ruling did not necessarily mean the end of their case.
“The decision does leave open the possibility that Attkisson can refile in the District Court and start again, so hopefully justice can still be done,” Mr. Berman said.
The FBI declined to react to the ruling, an attorney representing Ms. Attkisson did not immediately return an email requesting comment.
Friday’s ruling was first reported by Courthouse News Service.