Cambridge professor and reported FBI informant Stefan Halper, who is being sued by a Russian-born academic for allegedly smearing her and former national security adviser Michael Flynn as part of a government conspiracy to bring down the Trump administration, declared in a recent court filing that he is entitled to legal immunity ordinarily afforded to federal agents – even if the lawsuit’s allegations are true.
Halper did not explicitly admit to being an FBI informant in asking an Alexandria, Va. federal judge to throw out the case, and his filing followed legal rules that require defendants to assume that plaintiffs’ factual allegations are true in the initial stages of litigation.
“Private individuals who participate in FBI investigations are subject to the federal common law qualified immunity applicable to government agents,” as well as constitutional protections, Halper’s motion to dismiss asserted.
The qualified immunity privilege exempts federal agents from litigation unless their violation of the law was so extreme that it broke an established statutory or constitutional duty of which a reasonable person would have been aware.
Nevertheless, Halper’s motion to dismiss raised the prospect that the academic, Svetlana Lokhova, would have no recourse if the