Cohen Withdraws Defamation Suit Over Steele Dossier

Cohen Withdraws Defamation Suit Over Steele Dossier April 20, 2018

Trump’s personal fixer, Michael Cohen, has withdrawn two lawsuits he filed, one against Buzzfeed and one against Fusion GPS, over the infamous Steele dossier, which was commissioned by Fusion GPS and published by Buzzfeed. He had virtually no chance of winning the suit anyway.

Lawyers for President Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen have withdrawn defamation lawsuits against BuzzFeed and the political research firm Fusion GPS related to a dossier that included claims Cohen helped organize Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election.

The lawsuits, withdrawn late Wednesday, would have required Cohen to submit to an evidence discovery process, forcing him to produce documentation and sworn testimony about his activities before the closely contested election.

Among other things, the dossier alleged that Cohen had traveled to Prague and met with Russian operatives. Cohen has repeatedly denied the allegation, including in a text message Thursday morning. The assertion came from research conducted by former British spy Christopher Steele, who was working for Fusion GPS.

He had almost zero chance of winning. Defamation is very hard to prove in this country because the legal standard is set very high. He would have to prove that Fusion GPS and Buzzfeed knew that the information in that dossier was false, which would be virtually impossible to do, and that they put it out with malice. And in the course of losing that suit, he would have had to open himself up to discovery on pretty much everything he did during the 2016 campaign on Trump’s behalf.

In short, he’s dropping these suits because they never should have been filed in the first place. Because he’s not really a lawyer, he’s a fixer, and fixers act through intimidation. He filed suits he knew, or should have known, he couldn’t win in order to intimidate the defendants, but when they weren’t intimidated and he had to face the prospect of actually going to court, he dropped them like a hot potato.

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