Michael Cohen drops libel suits against BuzzFeed, Fusion GPS

Cheryl Sanders
April 19, 2018

PHOTO: Michael Cohen, longtime personal lawyer and confidante for President Donald Trump, exits the United States District Court Southern District of New York, April 16, 2018, in New York City.

The embattled lawyer isn't conceding anything about the substance of what was detailed in the dossier, which is unverified, but says he has too much else on his plate to proceed now that he is dealing with a federal court case in NY.

Cohen's team said the decision to discontinue the case was "a hard one". He dropped the suits late Wednesday amid a separate legal battle over documents and electronic files seized from his home, office and hotel room last week in an Federal Bureau of Investigation raid.

Cohen's attorney told the outlet, "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".

Buzzfeed said in a statement Cohen's decision to drop the lawsuits shows he "no longer thinks an attack on the free press is worth his time".

Publishing the document 10 days before Trump's inauguration, BuzzFeed warned that numerous allegations it contained could not be independently verified. Fusion and BuzzFeed are facing other defamation lawsuits over the dossier, which remains largely unverified.

Pursuing it, the firm said, would require Cohen to "face a discovery process that would have forced him to defend his reputation and address the allegations of the Steele dossier under penalty of perjury".

This comes after a recent McClatchy report that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office has information that Cohen was in Prague during the summer of 2016.

The withdrawal of Cohen's lawsuits also followed a report by McClatchy that said Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating links between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, had found evidence suggesting that Cohen did, in fact, make the trip to Prague.

In his statement Thursday morning, the Buzzfeed spokesperson repeated the company's claim that the dossier's "interest to the public is, and always has been, obvious".

McClatchy's reporting has not been confirmed by any other news organizations.

"You'll have to ask Michael Cohen", Trump said. On Friday morning, a federal judge there will hold a hearing to decide whether the criminal investigation Cohen faces in NY requires a 90-day delay of Daniels' case.

Other reports by iNewsToday