Trump Lawyer Cohen Sues Buzzfeed Over Claims in Russia Dossier

Courtesy of NBC
Seth Meyers on Late Night with Seth Meyers

Cohen said he told the panels that he never engaged with, was paid by, or communicated with anyone representing the Russian government, or anyone else, about hacking or interfering with the USA election, hacking the Democratic Party, or about creating fake news stories to assist the Trump campaign or to damage the Hillary Clinton campaign. Comey then briefed former President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump on the dossier, further giving it weight, in the eyes of news outlets. BuzzFeed, however, was less restrained. "The Russia investigation, meanwhile, didn't turn out to be some minor side story but instead the central challenge to Mr. Trump's presidency".

The dossier contains unverified claims that Cohen and Trump had suspicious connections with Russian figures.

BuzzFeed responded with a Twitter post saying the dossier continues to be the subject of investigations by Congress and intelligence agencies, was shown to two U.S. presidents and described in detail by news outlets worldwide.

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Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, filed two defamation lawsuits on Monday regarding BuzzFeed's [media website] publication of the Steele Dossier [materials, PDF], a condemning but unsubstantiated report indicating collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian agents.

It was published nearly exactly a year ago by BuzzFeed and paid for by research firm Fusion GPS.

The Trump-Russia dossier was first published by BuzzFeed a few days before his inauguration in January, 2017.

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"It will be proven that I had no involvement in this Russian collusion conspiracy", Cohen said in an interview Tuesday. "My name was included only because of my proximity to the president", Cohen revealed in an interview with Bloomberg.

Gaetz said he also wants to know if the Federal Bureau of Investigation brought the dossier to a FISA court to obtain clearance for surveillance on members of the Trump campaign. BuzzFeed later redacted its online version of the dossier to exclude those named and issued an apology shortly after the lawsuit was filed.

A spokesperson for BuzzFeed said in a statement to CNN, "This is not the first time Trump's personal lawyer has attacked the free press, and we look forward to defending our First Amendment rights in court". "Together, these reports confirmed that various law firms and businesses had retained Fusion on behalf of their clients to perform Russia-related work, thus triggering the Committee's investigative interest in identifying other businesses that sought Fusion's services during the same relevant period", Leon wrote.

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Mr Mueller's team has produced two indictments and two guilty pleas by former aides to Mr Trump's campaign. Steele is reported to have provided the dossier to the FBI in 2016, and some Republicans allege that the document prompted the agency to open a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign. Cohen said he has never been to Prague and his passport shows no visits to the Czech Republic.

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