5:10am PT by Eriq Gardner
Trump Attorney Michael Cohen Drops Libel Lawsuits Against Buzzfeed, Fusion GPS
Facing a criminal investigation, Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen has withdrawn libel lawsuits filed earlier this year against Buzzfeed and Fusion GPS over the publication of the infamous "Trump Dossier."
The lawsuits came in January, just before the one-year anniversary of the publication of the controversial document prepared by British spy Christopher Steele, who alleged connections between the Russian government and the Trump presidential campaign. In the complaints, Cohen asserted that it was untrue that he was an important go-between in the relationship. Cohen said that he had never been to Prague, where the Trump Dossier suggested that he had met with Kremlin officials in August 2016.
Now, of course, Cohen's home and office have been raided as New York prosecutors seek evidence of a crime.
Cohen is looking to limit his exposure and has asserted the documents seized by law enforcement agents violated attorney-client privilege. He has also raised 5th Amendment rights as a basis to pause the civil lawsuit over a hush agreement with Stormy Daniels. A judge has scheduled a hearing on Friday to consider whether that lawsuit might interfere with Cohen's right not to incriminate himself.
Cohen doesn't want to be a plaintiff in a case that could invite discovery either. Late Wednesday, he submitted notices of voluntary discontinuence in the libel suits he was pursuing.
The action also comes after McClatchy reported earlier this week that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has evidence that Cohen was actually in Prague in 2016. Cohen continues to deny it.