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U.K. Court Dismisses Trump Lawsuit Over “Scandalous” Steele Dossier

— February 1, 2024

A London-based court dismissed the lawsuit filed by former President Donald Trump, who claimed that ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele damaged his reputation by creating a dossier of uncorroborated rumors about Trump’s allegedly depraved and sexually degenerate escapades in Russia.

A United Kingdom court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by former U.S. President Donald Trump., who claimed that a British spy had made “shocking and scandalous claims” that were false and inflicted significant reputational damage.

According to The Associated Press, London-based Judge Karen Steyn found that Trump’s claim against Orbis Business Intelligence should be dismissed.

“There are no compelling reasons to allow the claim to proceed to trial,” Steyn wrote in her ruling.

Orbis, notes The Associated Press, was founded by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer best known for the compilation of the so-called “Steele dossier.”

The dossier, published in 2016, contained rumors and unfounded allegations that caused some political turmoil shortly before Trump’s inauguration.

Trump has since insisted that the dossier was “fake news,” and tantamount to a political witch-hunt. He filed a claim in the United Kingdom, asking that Steele and Orbis be ordered to pay damages for alleged violations of British data protection laws.

Donald J. Trump speaking at a Republican summit in 2015. Image via Flickr/user:Michael Vadon. (CCA-BY-2.0)

Steele, who ran the “Russia desk” for Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, was paid by Democrats to find and compile information that could be used to harm Trump’s standing among the American public.

The controversial dossier publicized allegations that Trump had, among other things, taken part in “sex parties” in St. Petersburg and paid frequent visits to Russian prostitutes in Moscow.

However, Steele’s findings were never corroborated. Hugh Tomlinson, an attorney for the former president, said that Trump “suffered personal and reputational damage and distress.”

He further alleged the dossier “contained shocking and scandalous claims about the personal conduct of President Trump,” including claims that his clients had paid sizeable bribes to Russian officials to ease into the country’s corrupted business market.

Although bribery and corruption are common—throughout Russia, and many other ex-Soviet nations—Tomlinson said that “this personal data is egregiously inaccurate.”

Trump, for his part, provided a witness statement testifying that Steele’s allegations were “wholly untrue,” and that he never engaged in “perverted sexual behavior including the hiring of prostitutes […] in the presidential suite of a hotel in Moscow.” He also maintained that he did not bribe Russian officials, or provide them with “sufficient material to blackmail me.”

But Orbis argued that the complaint should be dismissed, as the Steele dossier was commissioned by a private party and never intended to reach the public. It was eventually leaked, with its findings published by BuzzFeed.

Attorneys for Orbis also observed that Trump’s lawsuit appears to have been filed past the appropriate statute of limitations.

In her ruling, Steyn sided with Orbis, stating that Trump had “chosen to allow many years to elapse—without any attempt to vindicate his reputation in this jurisdiction—since he was first made aware of the dossier” in January of 2017.

“The claim for compensation and/or damages,” Steyn wrote, “is bound to fail.”


Donald Trump’s lawsuit over ‘Steele dossier’ thrown out by UK court

UK judge dismisses Trump’s lawsuit over dossier containing ‘scandalous claims’

U.K. judge dismisses Donald Trump’s lawsuit over “Steele dossier”

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