President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, filed lawsuits Tuesday against two different companies for personal defamation related to the salacious dossier published about Donald Trump, Bloomberg reported late Tuesday evening.
Cohen was named in the dossier 15 times. The document included unsubstantiated claims about him personally, including a false claim that he went to Prague.
Cohen has filed lawsuits against Buzzfeed, the media outlet which published the dossier one year ago, on Jan. 10, 2017, and against Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm who compiled the document. Buzzfeed in turn hired former British spy Christopher Steele to write it.
Fusion GPS was reportedly commissioned by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee to produce the dossier, as ‘opposition research’ on then-candidate Donald Trump, during the 2016 presidential campaign season.
Cohen told Bloomberg in an interview on Tuesday, “It will be proven that I had no involvement in this Russian collusion conspiracy. My name was included only because of my proximity to the president.”
Cohen’s complaint against Buzzfeed names editor-in-chief Ben Smith, reporter Ken Bensinger and editors Miriam Elder and Mark Schoofs, who were the bylines on the article Buzzfeed published accompanying the dossier. He provided the complaint and a confirmation email from the court system that he had filed the suit to Bloomberg News, but it could not immediately be independently confirmed that the suit had been filed.
Cohen said he’s mentioned in the dossier 15 times.
“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,” Buzzfeed spokesman Matt Mittenthal said in a statement. “We look forward to defending the free press and our First Amendment rights in court.”
The suit against Fusion GPS and its co-founder Glenn Simpson was filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York, Cohen said. The suit did not immediately appear in the electronic court docket.
Cohen said he told the panels that he never engaged with, was paid by, or communicated with anyone representing the Russian government, or anyone else, about hacking or interfering with the US election, hacking the Democratic Party, or about creating fake news stories to assist the Trump campaign or to damage the Clinton campaign.
The following video report occurred on Jan. 11, 2017, one day after the dossier was published.