BuzzFeed, defending Russian’s defamation lawsuit, won’t name source of ‘dodgy dossier’

BuzzFeed, defending Russian’s defamation lawsuit, won’t name source of ‘dodgy dossier’

[Ed. – The lawsuit by Aleksej Gurbarev, who was named in the dodgy dossier and claims defamation for what it said about him, is an interesting sidelight to the Mueller investigation and the congressional probes.  BuzzFeed was the first media outlet to publish the “dossier,” but says it did NOT get the document from Fusion GPS. Gurbarev wants to know where it came to BuzzFeed from.  That could shed a lot of light on exactly how the dossier came into being.  BuzzFeed is claiming journalistic privilege to avoid naming the source.  Not sure that will fly in a civil suit.]

On Monday, BuzzFeed told a Florida judge that it should not have to disclose the identity of the confidential source who gave the publication the infamous Trump Dossier. …

BuzzFeed‘s invocation of the reporter’s shield could prompt Gurbarev to argue that the need for hunted information is substantial and that BuzzFeed‘s source can’t be obtained elsewhere. In the court papers, BuzzFeed anticipates those arguments by first addressing the supposed basis of the request.

“Plaintiffs claim that they need to know the identity of the Source because Defendants have purportedly relied on it in invoking the fair and true report defense,” write BuzzFeed‘s lawyers, referring to how reporters are allowed to report on government activity without having to verify the truth of what’s in government documents and proceedings. “But this dog of an argument simply will not hunt because Defendants have done no such thing. Defendants have never referenced or even alluded to the Source in asserting the fair report privilege….”

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