Michael Cohen, the longtime attorney for President Donald Trump, on Tuesday filed two separate defamation lawsuits against Buzzfeed News and Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned the Trump dossier.
In the lawsuits, Cohen lashed out at Buzzfeed News for publishing the dossier, which alleges that Cohen met with Kremlin officials, and at Fusion GPS for allowing the dossier to fall into the hands of journalists.
The lawsuits from Cohen came after Buzzfeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith published an op-ed in the New York Times defending the publication’s decision to publish the unredacted dossier. This may have prompted Cohen to file the lawsuits — he published a tweet Tuesday evening announcing the lawsuits and saying he has had “enough” of the dossier.
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) January 10, 2018
“It will be proven that I had no involvement in this Russian collusion conspiracy,” Cohen told Bloomberg News on Tuesday. “My name was included only because of my proximity to the president.”
Cohen filed the lawsuit against Buzzfeed News in New York state court and accused the news outlet of publishing “false, damaging, and highly inflammatory statements” about him. He argued that Buzzfeed published the dossier despite knowing that it contained unverified claims.
In a statement responding to the lawsuit, a Buzzfeed spokeswoman said that the outlet will defend its First Amendment rights.
“The dossier is, and continues to be, the subject of active investigations by Congress and intelligence agencies,” BuzzFeed spokeswoman Katie Rayford told Politico in a statement. “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. This is not the first time Trump’s personal lawyer has attacked the free press, and we look forward to defending our First Amendment rights in court.”
Cohen filed a separate lawsuit against Fusion GPS in federal court, arguing that the firm indirectly published defamatory statements about him by arranging briefings between the dossier’s author and journalists and by discussing publication of the dossier with Buzzfeed News.
Read the complaints filed on Tuesday: