Trump sues Christopher Steele over Clinton campaign-fabricated 'Steele Dossier'

The file contained unproven allegations that the former president had been "compromised" by Russia.

Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against Christopher Steele and the company he founded, Orbis Business Intelligence, alleging that the former MI6 officer violated the United Kingdom's data protection law when his now discredited "Steele Dossier" was leaked to Buzzfeed in 2017.

The file contained unproven allegations that the former president had been "compromised" by Russia, namely its FSB security service, and that Putin himself had "supported and directed" a campaign to "cultivate" Trump as a candidate for the Republican Party. 

According to the Guardian, a court order published Thursday revealed that a two-day hearing is set to begin on October 16 and that Trump is not expected to attend in person. No further details were provided.

Steele, who headed MI6's Russia desk at the time, wrote the dossier for Fusion GPS, a private investigation firm hired by Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

When its leaked contents emerged via Buzzfeed on January 10, 2017, Trump immediately dismissed the claims made against him as "fake news," however that didn't stop his critics from using the report to attack him. 

One of the more widely spread claims in the dossier was made by lead researcher Igor Danchenko. He alleged that there was a videotape of Trump being urinated on by Russian hookers in a hotel room. The so-called "pee tape" was quickly discredited, but that didn't stop pundits and comedians on the left from having a field day with the allegations.

This is not the first time Steele and Orbis have been sued in connection with the dossier. Russian tech entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev previously filed a libel claim alleging that Steele had defamed him by claiming he had "knowing involvement" in cyberattacks on the Democratic Party. Lord Justice Mark Warby dismissed the suit in October 2020.

As the New York Times reports, Gubarev was accused of having used "botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct 'altering operations' against the Democratic Party leadership," allegations that were later corroborated in a report by an ex-FBI cybersecurity expert.

The Durham Report, which was a culmination of years of investigation by special counsel John Durham into the Russia collusion allegations, revealed that FBI agents did not do a sufficient investigation into the allegations.

"Our investigators determined that the Crossfire Hurricane investigators did not and could not corroborate any of the substantive allegations contained in the Steele reporting. Not was Steele able to produce corroboration for any of the reported allegations, even after being offered $1 million or more by the FBI for such corroboration." 

Bret Stephens, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist, admitted in 2022 that the Russian collusion narrative about Trump's election to the presidency in 2016 was a hoax. The New York Times was awarded a Pultizer for exposing the ties, which were proved to be not based in fact.

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