The Strange Legal Journey of the Trump Dossier

While BuzzFeed works to verify some of its controversial claims, lawsuits abound.

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with steel executives at the White House, where he announced new tariffs, Mar. 1, 2018. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with steel executives at the White House, where he announced new tariffs, Mar. 1, 2018. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with steel executives at the White House, where he announced new tariffs, Mar. 1, 2018. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Since it was first published by BuzzFeed in January 2017, the Trump dossier has sparked a national controversy — and a series of lawsuits.

One of those lawsuits, filed by a Russian billionaire against BuzzFeed, has led to an unusual private-sector investigation. To defend itself in court, BuzzFeed quietly hired a private consulting firm in an effort to prove that some of the dossier’s key allegations are, in fact, correct.

Foreign Policy recently published a story revealing how a former FBI official is leading this stealth investigation.

Since it was first published by BuzzFeed in January 2017, the Trump dossier has sparked a national controversy — and a series of lawsuits.

One of those lawsuits, filed by a Russian billionaire against BuzzFeed, has led to an unusual private-sector investigation. To defend itself in court, BuzzFeed quietly hired a private consulting firm in an effort to prove that some of the dossier’s key allegations are, in fact, correct.

Foreign Policy recently published a story revealing how a former FBI official is leading this stealth investigation.

This week on The E.R., we get into the weeds of who’s suing who and what the implications of those lawsuits might be.

Jana Winter is a Washington-based investigative reporter. She previously worked as a national security reporter at the Intercept and as a breaking-news and investigative reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @janawinter

Elias Groll is a staff writer at Foreign Policy, covering cyberspace and its conflicts and controversies. Follow him on Twitter: @eliasgroll

Sharon Weinberger is FP’s executive editor for news. She is the author of The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World. Follow her on Twitter at: @weinbergersa.

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