(National Sentinel) Character Assassination: An attorney for President Donald J. Trump filed a defamation lawsuit against liberal-leaning news site Buzzfeed for publishing the so-called “Trump dossier,” which was filled with pages of unsubstantiated allegations.
“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!” said Trump attorney Michael Cohen on Twitter.
The dossier, which was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, was commissioned by opposition research firm Fusion GPS. It was written by former British spy Christopher Steele.
In it, Steele claimed that Cohen traveled to Prague, Czech Republic, to meet with Russian agents as part of “collusion” efforts on behalf of the Trump campaign.
Cohen was in the United States at the time he was alleged to have been in Prague. In fact, Cohen says has never been to the Czech Republic.
In April, Cohen told The Washington Times he was considering filing suit against Buzzfeed. He also said at the time he was considering legal action against Steele as well.
The dossier circulated in establishment media circles throughout the summer and fall of 2016, but it was never published by any news outlets because the claims made in the 35-page document could not be substantiated.
In January, shortly before Trump was inaugurated, Buzzfeed editor Ben Smith decided to publish the entire document anyway, with the caveat that none of it had been substantiated. At the time, he said Americans could decide for themselves if its contents were true.
Many people named in the dossier had no idea they were being accused of anything until it was published, the Times noted.
Buzzfeed was sued in February 2017 by a Russian-owned firm named in the dossier.
The lawsuits were brought by XBT Holdings, a Cyprus-based company owned by Russian tech magnate Aleksej Gubarev.
“Lawyers for his firm filed complaints Friday in London against the former spy and his company, and against BuzzFeed and its editor in chief, Ben Smith, in Broward County Circuit Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where XBT’s subsidiary Webzilla is headquartered,” McClatchy Papers reported at the time.
The dossier has become the subject of congressional scrutiny as well. Some Republicans believe it was used improperly to obtain a FISA court warrant so that the Obama administration could justify spying on the Trump campaign.
Three Russians who were named in the dossier have also filed suit against Fusion GPS.
Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan filed suit in October in U.S. District Court in Washington, claiming that their reputations were unfairly sullied by claims made in the dossier.
“The plaintiffs are among the backers of Alfa Bank, a financial institution that the dossier accuses of involvement in Russian efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” noted Politico.
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