While BuzzFeed weathers criticism for publishing a document cache containing unsubstantiated and scandalous allegations about President-elect Donald Trump and his confidantes, they also could face legal consequences.
The organization elected to publish a 35-page dossier claiming Russian operatives had compromising personal and financial information about the president-elect and others in his orbit. The documents were compiled by a former British intelligence officer working for a private intelligence firm in London at the behest of Trump’s political opponents. They were later shared with Democratic political operatives and members of Congress.
If the salacious allegations in the document cache prove false, an individual named in the documents may have cause to bring a libel lawsuit against BuzzFeed.
Though the prospect of a sitting president bringing a civil suit against a media organization seems far-fetched, Trump aides outside the administration who are implicated in the documents could move forward with their own actions. Michael Cohen, counsel for the Trump Organization and an individual named in the documents, is a likely candidate in this regard.