On Thursday, a London judge tossed out Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Orbis Business Intelligence, a company co-founded by Christopher Steele, the former British spy who created the debunked Steele Dossier in 2016.
The infamous dossier was paid for by Democrats and published during Trump’s first presidential bid against Hillary Clinton. It contained uncorroborated allegations and rumors designed through mainstream media outlets and among critics in an effort to sway the 2016 election. Trump denied the legitimacy of the dossier’s contents from the beginning however the claims sparked an investigation into alleged ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
“There are no compelling reasons to allow the claim to proceed to trial,” Judge Karen Steyn said of the lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, Trump alleged Orbis violated British data protection laws and sought damages. He also wanted a judge to definitively rule the claims were false.
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Trump’s legal team argued the former president “suffered personal and reputational damage and distress” because his data protection rights were violated. Trump’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson argued the dossier “contained shocking and scandalous claims about the personal conduct of President Trump.” Trump’s case “is that this personal data is egregiously inaccurate.”
Conversely, Orbis said the lawsuit should be thrown out because the dossier, which was published by BuzzFeed, was never meant to be made public. It was done so without the permission of Steele or Orbis, they claim. They also said Trump’s lawsuit was filed too late.
The judge seemed to agree, saying Trump had “chosen to allow many years to elapse – without any attempt to vindicate his reputation in this jurisdiction – since he was first made aware of the dossier.”