Judge sides with BuzzFeed in defamation suit over dossier

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A federal judge Wednesday sided with BuzzFeed in a defamation suit, ruling that the news outlet had a legal right to publish the so-called Steele dossier.

Judge Ursula Ungaro, a George H.W. Bush appointee, ruled that BuzzFeed was reporting on “an official proceeding” in publishing the dossier.

“[T]he privilege exists to protect the media while they gather the information needed for the public to exercise effective oversight of the government,” Ungaro wrote in the decision.

Ungaro also found that BuzzFeed’s presentation was fair and true.

The case decided on Wednesday was brought in 2017 by Russian businessman Aleksej Gubarev, who is accused in the dossier of hacking the Democratic National Committee.

The Steele dossier, which was compiled by former British agent Christopher Steele and funded in part as opposition research into the Trump campaign, contains a number of salacious and unverified claims. BuzzFeed in January 2017 published the dossier in full with that warning.- READ MORE

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