Michael Cohen drops libel suits against BuzzFeed, Fusion GPS

Cohen, who is trying to regain possession of documents Federal Bureau of Investigation agents took last week-reportedly related to payments to women who allegedly had affairs with Trump-on Wednesday night dropped libel lawsuits against BuzzFeed and the political research firm Fusion GPS for publishing the dossier that links Trump to Russian Federation.

Cohen's lawyer, David Schwartz, said in a statement that the suits were withdrawn because Cohen no longer has time for them, report the Wall Street Journal, Politico and the Washington Post. "But 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", Schwartz said. The FBI is reportedly looking into payments Cohen helped facilitate to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump.

In a statement, Fusion GPS said, "We welcome, though are not surprised, that Michael Cohen opted to withdraw this meritless complaint rather than 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".

Cohen has vehemently denied the dossier's allegations, saying that he has never visited Prague.

Publishing the document 10 days before Trump's inauguration, BuzzFeed warned that numerous allegations it contained could not be independently verified. He provided a peek at his passport to BuzzFeed in 2017 to show that it contained no stamps showing travel to the Czech Republic. Cohen has not responded to that report.

The Russian tech executive Aleksej Gubarev filed a lawsuit against the media company a year ago for including his name in the dossier (BuzzFeed has since apologized and redacted it).

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"Bad reporting, bad information and bad story by same reporter Peter Stone @McClatchyDC", Cohen tweeted.

Apparently Cohen doesn't want to have to make any of his claims about Trump under oath, which would be required if he really hoped to win a lawsuit claiming the news organization acted improperly.

A spokesman for BuzzFeed touted Cohen's decision to drop the lawsuit. "If there's one thing Democrats and Republicans agree on today, it's that the dossier was an important part of the government's investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation".

The notice to discontinue the case was filed by Cohen's attorney Wednesday in the Supreme Court of the State of New York-New York County.

Cohen did not immediately return a request for comment.

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