President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, told Bloomberg he is suing both BuzzFeed and research firm Fusion GPS for defamation over claims that appeared in the dossier alleging ties between President Trump and Russian leaders.
Cohen said he filed both lawsuits on Tuesday. Fusion GPS was hired by Republicans and Democrats to compile background information on President Trump during the 2016 campaign, and it retained former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to conducting the Russia-related research. The dossier he put together contained several explosive revelations about Trump and some of his associates, only some of which have been verified, and Cohen said he was named in the dossier 15 times. He told Bloomberg he believes his name was "included only because of my proximity to the president."
BuzzFeed was given a copy of the dossier last year and published most of it, without revealing who supplied it. Cohen's lawsuit names BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith, editors Miriam Elder and Mark Schoofs, and reporter Ken Bensinger. "The dossier is, and continues to be, the subject of active investigations by Congress and intelligence agencies," BuzzFeed spokesman 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. We look forward to defending the free press and our First Amendment rights in court."