Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has filed a defamation lawsuit against BuzzFeed over its 2017 report of the infamous dossier. The 35-page document, which was published one year ago, alleged Trump and his staff had colluded with Russian officials leading up to the 2016 presidential election. Cohen was one of the people named in the dossier.
The collection of memos was compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele, who was hired by private investigation firm Fusion GPS to look into Trump’s suspected dealings with the Kremlin. The dossier alleges Cohen used his wife’s so-called Russian connections to secretly meet with Russian officials during the presidential campaign. Though U.S. intelligence has corroborated specific parts of the dossier, Cohen insists the claims against him are false.
The lawsuit, which also names GPS Fusion as a defendant, states BuzzFeed’s decision to publish “false and defamatory” allegations caused harm to Cohen’s “personal and professional reputation, current business interests, and the impairment of business opportunities.”
BuzzFeed News responded to the lawsuit via Twitter on Tuesday.
“The dossier is, and continues to be, the subject of active investigations by Congress and intelligence agencies,” BuzzFeed News spokesperson Matt Mittenthal said in a statement. “It was presented to two successive presidents, and has been described in detail by news outlets around the world. Its interest to the public is obvious. 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."