Former US President Donald Trump is making headlines again, this time in a high court in England. Trump is taking data protection legal action against Orbis Business Intelligence, a British intelligence consultancy, and its founder, Christopher Steele, the former head of MI6’s Russia desk.
The case was sparked by allegations made in the Steele dossier and centered around BuzzFeed publishing it online. The dossier supposedly alleges that Trump had been “compromised” by Russian security services and had been under Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “influence and direction” for at least five years. The dossier has since been debunked.
Trump is now using the British court as a platform to clear the air. He is also facing numerous other legal battles in the US, including criminal indictments and investigations into overturning the result of the 2020 presidential election. President Trump has denied all allegations of wrongdoing and insists the lawsuits are part of a politically motivated witch-hunt driven by Democrats.
His legal team has attempted to intervene in the UK case directly, with requests that the presiding judge, Mr Justice Warby, recuse himself due to a perceived bias. However, the judge rejected the requests and is now set to preside over the two-day hearing in October.
In an ironic case of karma, Buzzfeed – who originally published the dossier – has shut down its news desk. The company lost 90% of its value since 2021 and their CEO Jonah Peretti admitted his leadership caused the downfall.
The company was worth more than $700 million but at the time the announcement came, it was valued at around $100 million.
The Steele dossier was used to start the investigations into former President Trump despite being completely debunked. The dossier was published by Buzzfeed ten days before he took office. The rest is history as it was the catalyst for almost eight years of investigations.