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Cohen drops defamation suits over infamous dossier

Posted at 9:27 AM, Apr 19, 2018

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, told courts in New York late Wednesday that he'd like to drop defamation lawsuits he filed against Fusion GPS and BuzzFeed regarding the production and publication of an infamous dossier on Trump and Russia.

Cohen had sued Fusion, a political research firm, and the media company separately in January, one year after the Russia dossier, which was prepared for Fusion, was published by BuzzFeed. He had alleged that assertions about family ties he had to Russians and a trip he took overseas mentioned in the dossier were wrong, and that they damaged his professional reputation.

By dropping the lawsuits, Cohen will avoid turning over information about himself to the companies.



Cohen had not brought a case against Christopher Steele, an ex-British spy who wrote the dossier as a contractor for Fusion GPS. The dossier was commissioned as opposition research by political opponents of then-candidate Trump. Portions of the dossier remain unconfirmed.

Though the lawsuits generated a great deal of press at the time they were filed, Cohen's legal team took months to make procedural steps to move the cases forward in court.

His public reputation has also changed significantly, since federal prosecutors in New York announced last week he's been under criminal investigation for his business dealings.

BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS still face other defamation court claims related to the dissemination of the dossier, from Russian and other foreign businessmen.