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|Is the Steele Dossier About to Have Its Moment of Truth?|
In a defamation suit, BuzzFeed is trying to compel testimony from James Comey or James Clapper to establish the document’s centrality to the Russia investigation.
by Joe Pompeo
September 27, 2017 4:38 pm
The now famous Trump-Russia dossier, filled with explosive but unverified allegations about Donald Trump and his associates, had been circulating for months among government officials and journalists before BuzzFeed decided to publish it. It was a classic Web-native move—push out all available information while legacy-news organizations fretted over accuracy. Democratize the news process, collect the traffic, and let the chips fall. But then the chips fell. BuzzFeed failed to redact the name of a Russian technology entrepreneur whom the dossier alleged to be involved in hacking the Democratic leadership. He sued for defamation. And now, as Robert Mueller and several Congressional investigations attempt to parse the validity of the dossier’s revelations, BuzzFeed is in the midst of a pair of lawsuits, one unfolding in a Florida courtroom that conjures nervous memories of Gawker’s crippling legal defeat at the hands of Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel.
BuzzFeed’s arguments in the lawsuit, broadly, mirror its argument to publish the dossier in the first place. “BuzzFeed published the dossier only after it had become the subject of official government activity in a variety of ways,” Nathan Siegel, an attorney with David Wright Tremaine LLP who is representing BuzzFeed in the case, told me. “The point was that this is something the American people have a right to know about.”
continues at vanityfair.com