Michael Cohen Drops Defamation Lawsuits Against BuzzFeed, Dossier Firm

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Michael Cohen leaves Federal Court after his hearing on the FBI raid of his hotel room and office on April 16, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Michael Cohen, longtime personal lawyer and confidante for President Donald Trump, leaves Federal Court after his hearing at the United States District Court Southern District of New York Apr... NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Michael Cohen, longtime personal lawyer and confidante for President Donald Trump, leaves Federal Court after his hearing at the United States District Court Southern District of New York April 16, 2018 in New York City. Cohen and lawyers representing President Trump are asking the court to block Justice Department officials from reading documents and materials related to his Cohen's relationship with President Trump that they believe should be protected by attorney-client privilege. Officials with the FBI, armed with a search warrant, raided Cohen's office and two private residences last week. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images) MORE LESS

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, on Wednesday dropped his defamation lawsuits against BuzzFeed News and Fusion GPS, apparently due to the federal criminal investigation he now faces.

“The decision to voluntarily discontinue these cases was a difficult one,” Cohen’s attorney David Schwartz told Politico in a statement Thursday morning. “We believe the defendants defamed my client, and vindicating Mr. Cohen’s rights was — and still 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.”

Cohen filed lawsuits against BuzzFeed News and Fusion GPS in January over the publication of the dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. The dossier alleged that Cohen met with Kremlin officials, a claim he has denied.

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Trump’s longtime lawyer has been under grand jury investigation for several months for alleged “criminal conduct that largely centers on his personal business dealings. The investigation became public shortly after the FBI raided Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room last week.

In a Thursday morning statement, Buzzfeed News said that Cohen’s decision to drop the lawsuit shows that Cohen “no longer thinks an attack on the free press is worth his time.”

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