Michael Cohen drops libel suits against BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS

Erika Holt
April 20, 2018

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is no longer suing BuzzFeed and FusionGPS for defamation, a case he filed just four months ago.

"The decision to voluntarily discontinue these cases was a hard one", Cohen's attorney, David Schwartz, said in a statement to ABC News on Thursday.

Cohen's attorney said the "defendants defamed my client" and that "vindicating Cohen's rights" 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", Schwartz said.

Cohen claimed in both lawsuits that the so-called Steele dossier's unconfirmed allegations of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian agents contained "false and defamatory" assertions that resulted in "harm to his personal and professional reputation, current business interests, and the impairment of business opportunities". With those civil lawsuits ongoing in federal courts, it may also have been hard for Cohen to persuade a judge to postpone a suit that porn star Stormy Daniels filed against Trump over their alleged affair.

Cohen had sued Fusion GPS and Buzzfeed in January, but not Steele, an ex-British spy who composed the file for Fusion GPS.

Fusion GPS, a research and strategic firm, compiled the dossier and BuzzFeed initially reported on it.

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The decision takes place before the backdrop of a major report from McClatchy.

BuzzFeed said the lawsuit had never been about the "merits" of publishing the dossier.

Apparently Cohen doesn't want to have to make any of his claims about Trump under oath, which would be required if he really hoped to win a lawsuit claiming the news organization acted improperly.

According to CNN, by dropping the lawsuits, Cohen can now avoid the discovery process, which means he can avoid turning over information about himself to the companies.

"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 Russian Federation", he continued. The President's personal attorney has denied the meeting ever occurred.

Cohen did not respond to TheDCNF's request for comment.

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