Michael Cohen drops libel lawsuit over BuzzFeed Russia dossier

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Michael Cohen, the personal attorney to President Donald Trump, dropped his libel lawsuit against BuzzFeed.

Cohen sued BuzzFeed in January 2018, as iMediaEthics reported, over the site’s Jan. 2017 publication of a dossier about Trump and Russia. When it published the dossier, BuzzFeed noted that it couldn’t verify the allegations in the memo and that there were at least two errors in the report; BuzzFeed said it published the memos because they were newsworthy.

Cohen’s attorney, David Schwartz, told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “The decision to voluntarily discontinue these cases was a difficult one. We believe the Defendants defamed my client, and vindicating Mr. Cohen’s rights was—and still remains—important. But given the events that have unfolded, and the time, attention, and resources needed to prosecute these matters, we have dismissed the matters, despite their merits.”

BuzzFeed News’s director of communications Matt Mittenthal told iMediaEthics by e-mail

“The lawsuits against BuzzFeed over the Steele dossier have never been about the merits of our decision to publish it. If there’s one thing Democrats and Republicans agree on today, it’s that the dossier was an important part of the government’s investigation into potential collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia. Its interest to the public is, and always has been, obvious. Today’s news suggests that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer no longer thinks an attack on the free press is worth his time.”

When Cohen sued, his attorney Schwartz told iMediaEthics that Cohen’s reputation was “permanently damaged by these false, reckless and unconscionable statements.”
Fusion GPS, which was also being sued for its role in the dossier, told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “We welcome, though are not surprised, that Michael Cohen opted to withdraw this meritless complaint rather than face a discovery process that would have forced him to defend his reputation and address the allegations of the Steele dossier under penalty of perjury.  With his decision, it appears that Mr. Cohen can now focus on his many other legal travails.”


Hat Tip: Politico

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Michael Cohen drops libel lawsuit against BuzzFeed over Russia Dossier

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