BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief Ben Smith commemorated the year anniversary of the site’s publication of Christopher Steele’s Trump-Russia dossier in a New York Times editorial Tuesday — and soon after, one of the president’s lawyers sued the website for it.
Scoop: Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has filed a defamation suit against BuzzFeed for publishing uncorroborated dossier on Trump a year ago.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) January 10, 2018
Despite “fake news” pushback from both Donald Trump and more traditional news outlets, Smith said that the ensuing “year of government inquiries and blockbuster journalism has made clear that the dossier is unquestionably real news.”
Smith’s op-ed recounted the dossier’s timeline, what BuzzFeed knew at the time they published it and what the country has learned in year since.
“When we published the dossier, we knew a lot,” he wrote. “We knew that it had been written by the former head of the Russia desk at Britain’s main foreign intelligence agency, a man whose job had made him a leading source on Russian espionage.”
“We knew that key members of the Senate — Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat, and John McCain, the Arizona Republican — had acted on its contents,” Smith continued. “We had also learned that intelligence officials had briefed President Barack Obama and President-elect Trump on the dossier, and that the F.B.I. was already looking into it.”
Much of the dossier’s content, once entirely dismissed by detractors, have been corroborated: former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s hidden payments from Ukranian interests, Trump’s failed business interests in Russia and, of course, the now-infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting between the president’s son, son-in-law, campaign chairman and a ragtag crew of Russians and their allies.
“The chorus of criticism of our decision to publish has faded,” Smith wrote. “I haven’t had a single person approach me to say, ‘I wish I hadn’t read the dossier, and wish I had less insight into the forces at play in America.’ Do you feel that way? Does anyone?”