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U.K. High Court Throws Out Trump Dossier Privacy Case


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The High Court in London decided on Thursday that a lawsuit filed by Donald J. Trump against Christopher Steele, a former British spy who compiled a dossier in 2016 detailing unproven claims of links between the former president and Russia, would be thrown out.

The lawsuit was brought by Mr. Trump against Orbis Business Intelligence, Mr. Steele’s firm. Mr. Steele had compiled the dossier and it was leaked to the press shortly before he was sworn in as president.

In the decision, handed down virtually on Thursday morning, the court ruled that Mr. Trump “has no reasonable grounds for bringing a claim for compensation or damages, and no real prospect of successfully obtaining such a remedy.”

The judge, Karen Steyn, said she had “not considered, or made any determination, as to the accuracy or inaccuracy” of the dossier, and noted that Mr. Trump had said the allegations were “wholly untrue.”

The British court case came as Mr. Trump faces a slew of legal troubles closer to home, facing multiple lawsuits and felony charges while running a new campaign for the presidency.

Last week, Mr. Trump was also found to have defamed the writer E. Jean Carroll and ordered to pay her $83.3 million, after she accused him of a rape decades earlier and he attacked her repeatedly with derisive posts and statements.

Mr. Steele was a long-serving officer with MI6, the British foreign intelligence agency, and the dossier, prepared by his private research firm after his retirement from the agency, was focused on investigating Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

In the court filing for the London case, Mr. Trump’s lawyers said he was “compelled to explain to his family, friends, and colleagues that the embarrassing allegations about his private life were untrue. This was extremely distressing.” The former president had asked for unspecified compensation.

The judge dismissed that compensation claim. In reality, the claimant is seeking court findings to vindicate his reputation in circumstances where has not been able to formulate any viable remedy which he would have a real prospect of obtaining, or which would itself be of any utility,” she wrote.

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