00:18 GMT +321 January 2018
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    Florida Court Deals BuzzFeed Major Blow in ‘Golden Showers’ Libel Suit

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    It looks like the highly salacious and unverified dossier will be a thorn in the side of the news outlet for some time to come, after a Florida court denied a motion to dismiss a libel case against BuzzFeed for publishing the now infamous piece of “pulp fiction.”

    BuzzFeed attorneys argued that the court did not have jurisdiction to rule over Aleksej Gubarev’s lawsuit, charging that BuzzFeed committed libel. Particularly, Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, a Brooklyn resident, claimed that a Florida trial imposed undue hardship on him.

    Gubarev, a Russian-born businessman who operates a company called Webzilla, was alleged to have participated in hacking Democratic National Committee servers by BuzzFeed News reporters.

    In January, then-FBI chief James Comey refused to comment on whether Donald Trump was under a secret investigation, as several media outlets published reports accusing Trump of engaging in "perverted sexual acts… arranged/monitored by the FSB." 

    Even the outlets that ran the reports underscored that not only they are unsubstantiated, but they contained multiple factual errors. Nevertheless, the New York Times, CNN, BuzzFeed and others published a dossier that had allegedly been circulating among lawmakers, journalists and officials in Washington for weeks.  Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the 35-page memo as “pulp fiction.” 

    After CNN aired footage pertaining to the dossier, Trump blasted the organization as  "fake news." 

    The plaintiff’s legal counsel has expressed confidence in their case "no matter where it’s tried." 

    "The faster this case gets to trial, the faster Mr. Gubarev’s good name and reputation can be vindicated," attorney Evan Fray Witzer told the Washington Times.  

    The White House and Kremlin alike have dismissed allegations of hacking and collusion. Indeed, the FBI hadn’t investigated the DNC’s breached servers six months after stating that the computers had come under cyberattack by Russian cyberagents. The third-party firm relied on by US officials to determine that the cyber-gaffe occurred at the hands of a foreign country, 

    CrowdStrike, has a history of making up events that never happened.

    Gubarev said BuzzFeed never reached out to him to offer a balanced story. 

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    Tags:
    dossier, fake news, Buzzfeed, Donald Trump, James Comey
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