Feb 14, 2018

BuzzFeed sues DNC to undermine libel suit tied to Steele dossier

BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti in 2016. Photo: AOP.Press / Corbis via Getty Images

BuzzFeed is suing the Democratic National Committee to force it to turn over documents relevant to a libel suit the publisher is facing over its publication of Christopher Steele's Russia dossier, according to Vanity Fair.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed is being sued by a Russian businessman, Aleksej Gubarev, who "says he was libeled in the dossier when it tied him to the Russians' alleged hacking of the [DNC's] e-mail servers," Vanity Fair reports. BuzzFeed is aiming to retrieve information from the DNC that would "undercut his libel claim."

"The material requested from the D.N.C. — which amounts only to the digital remnants left by the Russian state operatives who hacked their systems — is highly relevant to Defendants’ ability to establish the truth of the allegedly defamatory claims about them in the Dossier. And the D.N.C. has identified neither privilege nor burden that would prevent them from complying with the Subpoena."
— BuzzFeed's lawyers, per Vanity Fair

Flashback: BuzzFeed published the dossier in full last year. Editor in chief Ben Smith says he's proud of their decision.

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