BuzzFeed has filed a lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in order to gain information about the Steele dossier for its own defense in another lawsuit.
According to The Hill, Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian businessman, is suing BuzzFeed for libel over accusations that the published dossier falsely linked him to Russia’s alleged hacking of the DNC’s servers.
Vanity Fair reported that BuzzFeed believes the DNC has information that could prove that Gubarev was involved and could therefore lead to the dismissal of his libel argument, but the organization hasn’t complied with a subpoena.
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“The material requested from the DNC — which amounts only to the digital remnants left by the Russian state operatives who hacked their systems — is highly relevant to defendants’ ability to establish the truth of the allegedly defamatory claims about them in the dossier,” a BuzzFeed spokesperson told Vanity Fair. “And the DNC has identified neither privilege nor burden that would prevent them from complying with the subpoena.”
However, the DNC defended its noncompliance on the basis that if it discloses the digital signatures of the hack, it would expose details of its information systems and make it prone to another hack.
“We’re asking a federal court to force the DNC to follow the law and allow BuzzFeed to fully defend its First Amendment rights,” a BuzzFeed spokesperson said.
On Monday, Foreign Policy reported BuzzFeed hired a former FBI and White House cybersecurity official to verify the statements made in the dossier.
President Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen also filed a lawsuit against BuzzFeed for defamation in regard to the dossier.
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