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U.K. judge dismisses Donald Trump’s lawsuit over “Steele dossier”

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London — A judge in London on Thursday threw out a lawsuit by former U.S. President Donald Trump accusing a former British spy of making “shocking and scandalous claims” that were false and harmed his reputation. Judge Karen Steyn said there were “no compelling reasons” to let the case Trump filed against Orbis Business go to trial. 

The company was founded by Christopher Steele, who created a dossier in 2016 that contained rumors and uncorroborated allegations that caused a political storm just before Trump’s inauguration.

Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who set up Orbis Business Intelligence and compiled a dossier on Donald Trump, is seen in London on March 7, 2017.
Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who set up Orbis Business Intelligence and compiled a dossier on Donald Trump, is seen in London, March 7, 2017.

Victoria Jones/PA via AP


Steele, who once ran the Russia desk for Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, was paid by Democrats to compile research that included salacious allegations that Russians could potentially use to blackmail Trump. 

CBS News correspondent Imtiaz Tyab said the court was told during a hearing in late 2023 that Trump was bringing his case over two memos in the dossier, which claimed he had taken part in “sex parties” in St. Petersburg, Russia, and engaged in “golden showers” with prostitutes in Moscow. 

Trump called the dossier “fake news” and a political witch hunt, and in his legal filings he accused Steele of making false claims and sought unspecified damages from Orbis for allegedly violating British data protection laws.

Orbis always maintained that it was not responsible for the publication of the dossier, which was leaked to a U.S. media outlet, and it sought the case’s dismissal. It argued that neither the company nor Steele had approved or been aware of the leak of the document. It also said the case had been filed too late. 


Jury acquits analyst connected to Steele dossier

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In 2022, the U.S. Federal Election Commission fined former candidate Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign $8,000, and the Democratic National Committee $105,000, for obscuring their funding of the dossier. The campaign had mislabeled Steele’s work as “legal services” and “legal and compliance consulting” in campaign filings, the FEC concluded. 

The bipartisan election commission dismissed a complaint against Steele himself.

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