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Trump lawyer sues Buzzfeed for publication of Steele dossier

Trump lawyer sues Buzzfeed for publication of Steele dossier

Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen sued Buzzfeed Inc. on Tuesday for defamation over allegations about him in a dossier the news organization published that was commissioned in 2016 by the president's political opponents. "I think BuzzFeed really stepped in it when it said not only that it was proud to have published the dossier but also that the file is 'unquestionably real news'".

Cohen filed one lawsuit in a state court against BuzzFeed, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith and reporters Ken Bensinger, Mirian Elder and Mark Schoofs, according to ABC News.

Senator Feinstein released Senate testimony of Fusion GPS co-founder. BuzzFeed's original publication of the dossier might be protected by the fair report privilege, according to Locke, but "if BuzzFeed is opining on the accuracy of the document, then it can lose that fair report privilege".

The dossier, which was produced by the D.C. -based intelligence firm Fusion GPS, relies nearly exclusively on Kremlin-linked sources and has itself been described by experts as a Russian disinformation campaign. "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", the spokesperson wrote.

"The dossier is a document of kind of obvious central public importance", he said.

President-elect Donald Trump during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, January 11, 2017.

In a separate tweet, Mr Trump accused Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein of being "underhanded and a disgrace" for disclosing details of a dossier of allegations about his ties to Russian Federation during the presidential campaign.

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

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"It will be proven that I had no involvement in this Russian collusion conspiracy", Cohen said in an interview Tuesday.

The adviser pleaded guilty previous year to lying to investigators about his contacts with Russia-linked figures, and is believed to be cooperating in the probe of special counsel Robert Mueller.

According to a transcript of his testimony that was made public Tuesday, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson told the Senate Judiciary Committee in August that Steele met with the Federal Bureau of Investigation more than a year ago and quoted Russian sources as saying Trump worked with a Russian election interference campaign of hacking and leaking. In response to BuzzFeed's dossier, Trump cried "fake news" and famously called the organization a "failing pile of garbage".

"On information and belief, Defendants arranged for Steele to brief selected members of the print and online media about the information he was compiling on candidate Trump", the complaint states.

"The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation into potential collusion and obstruction of justice", Feinstein said in a statement.

Cohen is not the first to sue BuzzFeed over the dossier. The New York Times reported last month that Papadopoulos told the diplomat that Russian Federation had thousands of emails that would embarrass Clinton and that the Australians' subsequent tip to the FBI about the conversation helped persuade the bureau to investigate potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Ryan aides did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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