Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen announced Tuesday night that he filed a defamation lawsuit against BuzzFeed for the site’s reporting on (and publication of) a dossier of unverified, classified information about Trump and his relationship with Russian officials. The document was allegedly prepared by Christopher Steele, a British intelligence official, and shown to then-President Obama in 2016.
CNN’s Brian Stelter obtained a statement from BuzzFeed, which continued to defend its decision to publish the document last year.
“The dossier is, and continues to be, the subject of active investigations by Congress and intelligence agencies. 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,” the statement said. “This is not the first time Trump’s personal lawyer has attacked the free press, and we look forward to defending out First Amendment rights in court.”
Cohen also confirmed that the lawsuit named BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, among others, Stelter reported.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller reportedly met with Steele, the author of the dossier, last summer as part of his investigation into the nature of the Trump presidential campaign team’s relationship with Russian government officials.
Onlookers have cheered at the prospect of what personal documents Trump will have to release as part of the suit’s discovery process.