12:37, January 10 361 0 abajournal.com

2018-01-10 12:37:05
Trump’s personal lawyer claims Russia dossier defamed him, sues BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS

President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has filed defamation lawsuits against the company that compiled the so-called Steele Dossier alleging Russia ties to the Trump campaign and against the publication that published it.

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.” BuzzFeed, Politico, ABC, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) also have stories.

The suit against BuzzFeed, filed in New York state court, says it acknowledged the dossier’s claims were unverified, but chose to publish it

Cohen filed a second suit in Manhattan federal court against the company that hired the report-writing spy. The suit says Fusion GPS “started peddling the dossier to media and journalists” in September 2016 as part of the intended purpose of opposition research on then-candidate Trump. After he won the election, Fusion GPS allowed the dossier to fall into BuzzFeed’s hands, the suit says.

The dossier alleges ties between Cohen and Russian officials. But “none of the allegations are true in the slightest,” the lawsuits state.

According to the suits, false allegations include claims that: Cohen had an inappropriate relationship with the Russian government stemming from his wife’s family; Cohen secretly met with Russian officials to contain former campaign manager Paul Manafort’s connection to Russia and Ukraine; and Cohen developed contingency plans to hide cash payments to Russian hackers.

BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief, Ben Smith, defended the decision to publish the dossier in a New York Times op-ed. “A year of government inquiries and blockbuster journalism has made clear that the dossier is unquestionably real news,” Smith wrote. “We strongly believed that publishing the disputed document whose existence we and others were reporting was in the public interest.”

At the time of publication, key members of Congress had acted on contents of the dossier, the FBI was investigating it, and both President Barack Obama and the president-elect had been briefed on it, Smith said.

Enough is enough of the #fake #RussianDossier. Just filed a defamation action against @BuzzFeedNews for publishing the lie filled document on @POTUS @realDonaldTrump and me!