Digital platform BuzzFeed is going to great lengths to prove a story including claims of the existence of a Trump "pee tape" from early 2017 are based on factual information by working with an independent investigative team, according to Vice.
Last year, BuzzFeed published a story featuring a dossier full of memos written by former British spy Christopher Steele, which included claims that Trump had deep ties in Russia, colluding with their officials during the 2016 presidential election to influence its outcome. Not only that, the memos claims Moscow has a tape of our president, but then businessman Donald Trump, engaging in sexual acts that also involve urine.
The publication is now being sued by Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian tech exec who called the story libelous and "reckless," also implying the whole thing was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
The investigative team has some pretty serious ties, being led by former FBI agent and former White House cybersecurity official, Anthony Ferrante, to ensure that the information dossier is in fact true. Finding any truth will also catch the interest of Robert Mueller, the FBI special counsel who is also investigating claims that Russia had a hand in the results of Trump's presidential campaign.
Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen filed a defamation suit last month against BuzzFeed over the story, but the findings of the team of investigators may be revealed as soon as this week. Expert witnesses are set to testify, and Florida court will hold a hearing to reveal who they might be by Thursday. Once any of the information in the dossier is able to be verified, fighting the libel claims will be much simpler. "If it’s fact, it’s not libel," said one source about how BuzzFeed is handling the suits. "That’s the idea.”