Donald Trump's lawsuit over 'Steele dossier' in London court

The front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination is suing Orbis Business Intelligence for alleged data protection breaches

By Reuters

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Former president Donald Trump. — AP file
Former president Donald Trump. — AP file

Published: Mon 16 Oct 2023, 1:18 PM

Donald Trump's lawyers will argue at London's High Court on Monday that the former U.S. president can pursue his lawsuit against a British private investigations firm over a dossier which alleged that Russia supported his 2016 election campaign.

Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is suing Orbis Business Intelligence for alleged data protection breaches relating to a document written by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.

The "Steele dossier" made allegations about ties between Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia, and said Trump engaged in "perverted sexual acts" which were monitored by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB).

Many of the allegations were never substantiated. Trump has previously criticised what he described as Steele's "fake dossier", and his lawyers say the report is inaccurate.

In court filings, Trump denies the allegations made in the Steele dossier, including that he engaged in perverted sexual behaviour in Russia and that he paid bribes to Russian officials to further his business interests.

He is seeking compensation for "personal and reputational damage and distress", which Trump's lawyers say were caused by the "false, intrusive and damaging allegations about (his) personal life".

Orbis, however, is applying to have the lawsuit thrown out of court on the grounds it has no real prospect of success, according to a High Court order dated June 9. The firm's application will be heard over two days starting on Monday.

Trump's lawsuit against Orbis is one of many legal cases the former president is involved in.

He and his family business are currently facing a lawsuit from the New York attorney general's office which threatens to dismantle Trump's business empire over allegations that he inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to secure better loan and insurance terms.

Trump is also facing four separate sets of criminal charges, including allegations in a federal court in Washington that he conspired to defraud the United States by preventing Congress from certifying Joe Biden's 2020 election victory over him.

Despite his legal entanglements, however, Trump leads a field of rivals seeking the 2024 Republican nomination, with many Republican voters having embraced Trump's assertion that he is the victim of a Democrat witch hunt.

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