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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Sign of the times: A pro-Warren super PAC

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Nevada. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of women progressives who back Sen. Elizabeth Warren has formed Persist PAC, a super PAC airing pro-Warren ads starting Wednesday in an effort to boost her performance ahead of Saturday's crucial Nevada caucuses, a spokesman told Axios.

Why it matters: Warren has spoken adamantly against the influence of unlimited spending and dark money in politics. But these supporters have concluded that before Warren can reform the system, she must win under the rules that exist — and that whether she likes it or not, their uncoordinated help may be needed to keep her viable through this weekend's contest and into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon policy chief resigns amid reported discord with Trump

John Rood. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

John Rood, the Pentagon's top policy official, will resign from his post on Feb. 28, CNN first reported and President Trump confirmed.

The state of play: CNN said Rood "was perceived as not embracing some of the changes in policy the White House and senior Pentagon officials wanted," such as peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and a decision to cut back on military exercises with South Korea as the president courted North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Coronavirus cases rise, as warnings of global pandemic grow

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

We may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic, warns a top U.S. public health official, as cases continue to spread despite containment efforts. Meanwhile, the global economy is being affected, including the tech manufacturing industry.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 136 new deaths since Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health