Donald Trump data protection claim over allegations he took part in ‘perverted’ sex acts in Russia dismissed by judge

Donald Trump Steele dossier
Donald Trump's high court claim over the so-called Steele dossier has been dismissed by a judge. (Image: AP)

Donald Trump’s legal claim over allegations he took part in “perverted” sex acts and gave bribes to Russian officials has been dismissed by a High Court judge.

He had brought the data protection case in the UK after claims were published about him in the so-called “Steele Dossier” before the 2016 election which saw Mr Trump become president.

Mr Trump’s claim was against Orbis Business Intelligence – a private investigations firm founded by former British spy Christopher Steele, who previously ran the Secret Intelligence Service’s (MI6) Russia desk.

Mr Steele was the author of the dossier which included allegations Mr Trump had been “compromised” by the Russian security service, the FSB. Mr Trump denied the claims.

The dossier, made up of more than a dozen memos, was produced by Orbis in 2016, before it was leaked to and published by BuzzFeed in 2017.

The 77-year-old former US president – who is running for re-election – brought the legal action against Orbis and sought compensation for distress.

The court was told during a hearing last year Mr Trump was bringing his case over two memos in the dossier which claimed he had taken part in “sex parties” while in St Petersburg and engaged in “golden showers” with prostitutes in Moscow.

Hugh Tomlinson KC, representing Mr Trump, described the allegations in the memos – which also included a claim the 77-year-old had “defiled” a bed previously used by former president Barack Obama and his wife – as “egregiously inaccurate”.

Read more: Christopher Steele: Confessions of a former British spy

Chris Steele PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 7, 2017. See PA story TOPIC Keyword. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Former British spy Christopher Steele. (Image: PA)

 

In a written witness statement in October, Mr Trump claimed the dossier contained “numerous false, phoney or made-up allegations” and that he was suing Orbis to “prove, by evidence at trial, that the data are false”.

He said he had not engaged in “perverted sexual behaviour including the hiring of prostitutes… in the presidential suite of a hotel in Moscow”, nor taken part in “sex parties” in St Petersburg or given Russian authorities “sufficient material to blackmail [him]”.

But lawyers for London-based Orbis asked for the case to be thrown out.

They argued it was “brought for the purpose of harassing Orbis and Mr Steele and pursuing longstanding grievances”.

Orbis’s counsel Antony White said Mr Trump had called for Mr Steele to be “extradited, tried, and thrown into jail”, calling him a “lowlife” and “sleazebag” involved in the “Russian collusion hoax” who produced “a total phoney con job” dossier.

He said Mr Trump has “a deep and intense animus” against Mr Steele and Orbis, and “a long history of repeatedly bringing frivolous, meritless and vexatious claims for the purpose of vexing and harassing perceived enemies and others against whom he bears a grudge”.

In a judgment on Thursday, Mrs Justice Steyn said: “In my view, there are no compelling reasons to allow the claim to proceed to trial in circumstances where, whatever the merits of the allegation that the personal data are inaccurate may be, the claim for compensation and/or damages… is bound to fail.”

She continued: “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; and having chosen to allow many years to elapse – without any attempt to vindicate his reputation in this jurisdiction – since he was first made aware of the dossier, including the memoranda, on 6 January 2017.”

Dismissing the claim, Mrs Justice Steyn said that the “mere fact” Orbis had held copies of the memos could not cause Mr Trump distress.

“Mere storage of the memoranda by the defendant cannot sensibly be said to have had any impact on the claimant – if he was even aware of it – not least in circumstances where the memoranda are on the internet,” the judge added.

Source:  Sky News news.sky.com

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