Christopher Steele: High Court throws out Trump ex-spy dossier case

Christopher Steele: High Court throws out Trump ex-spy dossier case
Christopher SteeleGetty Images

Donald Trump’s attempt to bring a case in the UK courts against a former MI6 officer who wrote a salacious dossier linking him to Russia has failed.

The former president had been seeking to use data protection laws to sue Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, the company run by Christopher Steele.

Mr Steele compiled the dossier which had unproven allegations about bribing officials and sex parties.

It was leaked to the media just before Mr Trump was sworn in as president.

In bringing the lawsuit, he said the dossier contained allegations that were inaccurate and breached his data protection rights.

A ruling on Thursday by the High Court in London threw out the case.

Mrs Justice Steyn DBE said she did not make any judgement on the allegations themselves but found Mr Trump’s claim had not been brought within the six-year limitation period.

“There are no compelling reasons to allow the claim to proceed to trial,” she wrote.

A statement is expected from Mr Steele later today.

The case stems from 2016, when a US political consultancy asked Mr Steele’s company to produce a report into potential Russian interference in that year’s US general election.

The project was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s Democrats and other political opponents of Mr Trump.

Mr Steele, the former head of MI6’s Russia desk, sent his findings to the FBI, a British national security officer and an aide to a senior US senator.

The dossier, later obtained and published by BuzzFeed News, detailed uncorroborated intelligence claims that Mr Trump had a “compromising relationship with the Kremlin”.

The former president said in his witness statement when he brought the case last year that “none of these things [in the Steele dossier] ever happened.”

“I can confirm that I did not, at any time engage in perverted sexual behaviour including the hiring of prostitutes to engage in ‘golden showers’ in the presidential suite of a hotel in Moscow.”

Mr Trump said official investigations had debunked the dossier but it continued “to cause me significant damage and distress” because people still believed it.

He added that he had not had time to sue in the UK before 2023 because he had been busy being president.

Antony White KC, for Orbis, told the court in October that Mr Trump had accepted that the company was not responsible for BuzzFeed’s publication of the document.

Source: bbc.co.uk

By David Ryckman