A judge in London threw out a lawsuit Thursday filed by former President Trump which claimed the infamous dossier and its “shocking and scandalous claims” harmed his reputation.
“There are no compelling reasons to allow the claim to proceed to trial,” Judge Karen Steyn said of the lawsuit Trump filed against Orbis Business Intelligence, a company co-founded by Christopher Steele, the former British spy who created a dossier in 2016.
The dossier was paid for by Democrats and published during Trump’s first presidential bid against Hillary Clinton. It contained uncorroborated allegations and rumors that spread like wildfire among Trump’s critics and through mainstream media outlets.
Trump repeatedly denied the accusations in the dossier, which included rumors about him engaging in sex acts with Russian prostitutes. He unequivocally said the dossier was fake news and a political witch hunt — then sued to clear his name.
The ruling comes as Trump is the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and faces other legal woes in the U.S.
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.
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.”
She said that “the claim for compensation and/or damages… is bound to fail.”
Steele previously ran the Russia desk for Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6. He was paid by Democrats to compile research into any ties between Trump and Russia.