Trump lawyer sues Buzzfeed for publication of Steele dossier

Glenn Simpson

Cohen told Bloomberg News he will prove that he "had no involvement in this Russian collusion conspiracy" and the dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele includes Cohen's name "only because of my proximity to the president".

The lawyer Michael Cohen, filed the lawsuit in NY state on Tuesday, almost a year after BuzzFeed published the dossier commissioned by political opposition research firm Fusion GPS. "I haven't had a single person approach me to say, 'I wish I hadn't read the dossier, and wish I had less insight into the forces at play in America.' Do you feel that way?"

It contains salacious yet unverified information about the campaign's alleged effort to collude with Russian Federation, including allegations that was directly involved in coordinating with the Kremlin. Fusion GPS then hired Mr Steele to investigate Mr Trump's connections with Russian Federation.

"Although no amount of money can ever remedy the damage that has been sustained by Mr. Cohen, we will be seeking maximum damages for the lies contained in the so-called dossier", David Schwartz, the lawyer representing Cohen, said in a statement.

Cohen wrote in the lawsuit that BuzzFeed published the unverified allegations "without attempting to determine the veracity of these reports with plaintiff himself". It also contradicts Cohen's claim that he became "collateral damage in a US political operation". "Their actions are so malicious, despicable and reckless, one can only presume that their motives were intentional". It was presented to two successive presidents, and has been described in detail by news outlets around the world.

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We strongly believed that publishing the disputed document whose existence we and others were reporting was in the public interest. Any misstep might give his supporters more ammunition to label news outlets as biased.

Last week another attorney working for Trump personally, Charles Harder, sent a cease and desist letter to the publisher and author of the new book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House", seeking to stop further distribution.

"When we published the dossier, we knew a lot", he wrote.

He argued that the Steele report merited publication because the public had a right to know what information about Trump was being circulated among reporters, lawmakers and US investigators.

It comes amid that the Federal Bureau of Investigation received intelligence from a "voluntary source" in Mr Trump's circle in 2016.

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Much of the dossier's content, once entirely dismissed by detractors, have been corroborated: former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's hidden payments from Ukranian interests, Trump's failed business interests in Russia and, of course, the now-infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting between the president's son, son-in-law, campaign chairman and a ragtag crew of Russians and their allies.

Donald Trump has dismissed the Russian Federation dossier as a politically-motivated smear.

A Russian tech executive named in the report also sued the media company and Smith a year ago for defamation.

"The Supreme Court has made it clear that when it comes to media-related publications on public figures, they are generally immune from defamation lawsuits unless they actually acted with malice".

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