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.
Mr Trump’s claim was against Orbis Business Intelligence – a private investigations firm founded by 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 77-year-old former US president – who is running for re-election – brought the legal action against Orbis Business Intelligence, a consultancy founded by Mr Steele, 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.
In a written witness statement at the time, 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”.
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”.
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 added: “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.”
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