The UK High Court has rejected former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Christopher Steele, a former MI6 officer who compiled a controversial dossier alleging Trump’s ties to Russia, as reported by BBC News. Trump sought legal action against Steele’s company, Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, under data protection laws, claiming the dossier violated his data protection rights with inaccurate allegations.
The Steele Dossier, which surfaced just before Trump’s inauguration, contained unverified claims about bribery and sexual misconduct. Trump’s legal team argued that these allegations, which included lurid details about hiring prostitutes in Moscow, were false and had caused him significant distress and reputational harm.
However, Mrs Justice Steyn DBE of the London High Court ruled that Trump’s claim fell outside the six-year limitation period for such lawsuits. She emphasized that the court’s decision did not pass judgment on the allegations themselves but concluded there were no compelling reasons to allow the claim to proceed to trial.
Steele has maintained that the dossier was a collection of intelligence memos not intended for public release. The dossier became a subject of widespread media attention after BuzzFeed News published it, sparking extensive debate and investigations.
The case’s origins trace back to 2016 when Steele’s firm was commissioned by Hillary Clinton’s Democratic Party and other political adversaries of Trump to investigate potential Russian interference in the U.S. election. The findings were shared with the FBI and other U.S. national security officials.
Despite Trump’s assertion that official inquiries had debunked the dossier’s contents, the lawsuit was hampered by his admission that Orbis was not responsible for BuzzFeed’s publication of the document. Furthermore, Trump stated that his presidential duties had delayed his ability to file the lawsuit earlier.
The Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into potential collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian agents during the 2016 election did not establish a criminal conspiracy. However, it outlined several instances of possible obstruction of justice by Trump.
The High Court’s dismissal of Trump’s lawsuit marks the latest development in the ongoing saga surrounding the Steele Dossier and its impact on U.S. political discours