ibusinesslines.com September 20, 2018

Why Trump's Lawyer Michael Cohen Is Suing BuzzFeed And Fusion GPS

13 January 2018, 03:27 | Jodi Jackson

Glenn Simpson. Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Glenn Simpson

According to Bloomberg News, Cohen is suing BuzzFeed, its editor in chief Ben Smith and three reporters who shared bylines on the January 10, 2017 article revealing the dossier.

Simpson said after Steele produced that first report on June 20, 2016, he was concerned that what he found represented a national security threat and felt obligated to tell someone in government.

"Enough is enough of the #fake #RussianDossier", Mr Cohen tweeted on Tuesday.

Cohen, however, faces an "uphill battle" in court, Seth Berenzweig, founding and managing partner of law firm Berenzweig Leonard, told FOX Business. The suit did not immediately appear in the electronic court docket. It will be hard for Mr. Cohen to meet that heightened legal standard.

"Even though defendant BuzzFeed expressly acknowledged the unverified (and potentially unverifiable) nature of the dossier's allegations, defendant BuzzFeed published the un-redacted dossier and the article anyway - without attempting to determine the veracity of these reports with plaintiff himself", the federal lawsuit said.

Buzzfeed spokesperson Matt Mittenthal issued a statement to multiple news networks: "It was presented to two successive presidents, and has been described in detail by news outlets around the world".

BuzzFeed responded to Michael Cohen's lawsuit by saying it published the unredacted, tabloid-ish dossier because "its interest to the public is obvious". "We look forward to defending the free press and our First Amendment rights in court".

ABC News reported that in both the lawsuits, Cohen claimed the "false and defamatory" allegations that resulted in "harm to his personal and professional reputation, current business interests, and the impairment of business opportunities". 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".

Michael Cohen also filed a second lawsuit against Washington research firm Fusion GPS, the company that hired former spy Christopher Steele to investigate Mr Trump's business dealings with Russian Federation.

Prepared by the former head of the Russia desk at Britain's main foreign intelligence agency, Christopher Steele, it included allegations that Cohen had secret meetings with Russian officials in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in August and had discussions on how to pay Kremlin-associated hackers for their work against the rival Hillary Clinton campaign.

Meanwhile, according to Cohen, the allegations about his ties to Russian Federation are not only false, but also hurt his career, which is ironic, given that he works for the president of the United States.

"[The] truth serves as a defense in such cases ..."

Meanwhile, Claypool said that Cohen can "prevail" in at least one his cases, considering BuzzFeed knew the dossier contained unverified information when it made a decision to publish the document.

The dossier portrayed Cohen as a central figure in what it depicted as a possible conspiracy.

He argued that the Steele report merited publication because the public had a right to know what information about Trump was being circulated among reporters, lawmakers and USA investigators.

As the seriousness of the Russian Federation investigation has become clearer, the pro-Trump line has shifted from dismissing the dossier to stressing its role in the investigation: The dossier, some of Mr. Trump's defenders now say, played too big a part, given that a portion of Mr. Steele's funding came from political enemies of Mr. Trump, including the Democratic National Committee.

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