Michael Cohen, a personal lawyer for Donald Trump, has filed defamation lawsuits in New York state court against Buzzfeed and Fusion GPS over the Steel Dossier, the memo alleging Russia has blackmail material on the president.
The dossier was compiled by former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele for Fusion GPS during the 2016 presidential election, and published by Buzzfeed on Jan. 10, 2017.
Cohen announced the suits Tuesday evening, saying on Twitter “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!”
In the lawsuit filed against Fusion, obtained by TheWrap, Cohen asserts that “[t]his action arises from the immensely damaging and defamatory statements made by Defendants against Plaintiff through widely disseminated political opposition reports commissioned by opponents of presidential candidate Donald Trump. Defendants, a D.C.-based political opposition research firm and its principal, Glenn Simpson, published these reports, which came to be known as the “Dossier,” in advance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”
The suit names Bean LLC, d/b/a Fusion GPS, and Glenn Simpson, as defendants.
In the suit against Buzzfeed, posted online by ABC, Cohen decries “false, damaging, and highly inflammatory statements” he says were made about him in the dossier, and accuses Buzzfeed of failing to attempt to “determine the veracity of these reports with Plaintiff himself.”
The suit names Buzzfeed, INC., Ben Smith, Ken Bensigner, Miriam Elder, and Mark Schoofs as defendants.
Cohen says statements about him contained in the dossier, including that he has family ties to Russia, are untrue and have damaged him professionally.
Soon after the dossier was published, Christopher Steele went into hiding citing concern for his and his family’s safety.