Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, is suing BuzzFeed, claiming the clickbait-based media outlet defamed him by publishing a controversial dossier.
Attorney Michael Cohen filed the suit last Tuesday, nearly a year after the BuzzFeed article was published. The piece presented a laundry list of allegations related to the Trump presidential campaign and collusion with Russia.
Cohen’s name cropped up in the dossier, which was commissioned by political research firm Fusion GPS.
The attorney claims BuzzFeed staffers defamed him by mentioning his name in the 35-page document – a paper which Cohen says contained a strange mix of truth, lies, and unverified rumors about meetings with Russian officials and government agents.
BuzzFeed, says Cohen, published a series of unverified allegations “without attempting to determine the veracity of these reports with plaintiff himself.”
Among the claims outlined in the dossier – that Cohen traveled to Prague to meet secretly with Russian officials. Cohen himself says he’s never been to Prague and has no stamps from the Czech Republic in his passport.
“Enough is enough of the #fake #RussianDossier,” Cohen wrote on Twitter. “Just filed a defamation action against @BuzzFeedNews for publishing the lie filled document on @POTUS @realDonaldTrump and me!”
At the time of its publication, writes The Seattle Times, BuzzFeed acknowledge the dossier contained rumors and unverified information. Nevertheless, the website opted to publish the document so “Americans can make up their own minds” about the rumors of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
And the Seattle Times quotes Cohen as slamming Fusion GPS, claiming that the political opposition reports it compiled contained “immensely damaging and defamatory statements.” He also faulted the company for letting the document “fall into the hands of media devoted to breaking news on the hottest subject of the day: the Trump candidacy.”
“The dossier is, and continues to be, the subject of active investigations by Congress and intelligence agencies,” BuzzFeed spokeswoman Katie Rayford said. “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.”