Trump lawyer sues BuzzFeed for publishing Russian Federation dossier, also targets Fusion GPS

  • Trump lawyer sues BuzzFeed for publishing Russian Federation dossier, also targets Fusion GPS

Trump lawyer sues BuzzFeed for publishing Russian Federation dossier, also targets Fusion GPS

"This is an opposition research campaign document that was dressed up as an intelligence document and then potentially used as a basis to spy on Americans", Gaetz said.

The filings were also made against Fusion GPS, the political research firm that compiled the dossier, and Buzzfeed one day before the statute of limitations would have expired. The suit says Fusion GPS "started peddling the dossier to media and journalists" in September 2016 as part of the intended objective of opposition research on then-candidate Trump.

That included a claim that Cohen had traveled to Prague for secret meetings with a Russian official.

While allegations spelled out in the dossier have not been verified, they have also yet to be invalidated, Berenzweig pointed out, which could complicate the legal process for Cohen.

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 responded with a Twitter post saying the dossier continues to be the subject of investigations by Congress and intelligence agencies, was shown to two United States presidents and described in detail by news outlets worldwide. "We believe in our courts and our system of justice and that when all the facts are in, justice will prevail and Mr. Cohen will be awarded damages against the defendants". Michael Cohen said in a Twitter post on Tuesday, calling the dossier "fake".

The lawsuit says that BuzzFeed published the unverified allegations "without attempting to determine the veracity of these reports with plaintiff himself".

Matt Mittenthal, a spokesman for BuzzFeed News, responded to the suit in a statement: "The dossier is, and continues to be, the subject of active investigations by Congress and intelligence agencies". It was presented to two successive presidents, and has been described in detail by news outlets around the world.

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". Any misstep might give his supporters more ammunition to label news outlets as biased.

Trump's critics have held up the dossier as proof of impropriety during the election while others point to a serious lack of evidence supporting the most salacious claims as grounds for dismissing the dossier entirely.

Buzzfeed News broke ranks and published the 35-page dossier days later. BuzzFeed, Politico, ABC, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) also have stories.

"Without the dossier, Americans would have found it hard to understand the actions of their elected representatives and government officials", Smith wrote. Steele, who is based in London, drew upon a range of sources, including figures linked to Russian intelligence, to compile the dossier.

Ben Smith, the site's editor in chief, said the past year, filled with more questions about Mr Trump's links to the Kremlin and multiple high-level investigations, more than vindicated the decision.

Smith made this argument in the op-ed: "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?"