A U.K. judge on February 1 dismissed a claim by Donald Trump against a former spy who compiled a salacious dossier containing allegations of the former U.S. President’s links to Russia.
Mr. Trump took legal action against Christopher Steele’s company Orbis Business Intelligence, but High Court judge Karen Steyn said there were “no compelling reasons” to allow the claim to proceed to trial.
The data protection claim, was “bound to fail” she wrote in her judgment.
Similarly, she threw out Mr. Trump’s claim for compensation, stating that he had “chosen to allow many years to elapse — without any attempt to vindicate his reputation” in the U.K. courts since the dossier came out.
The so-called Steele dossier sparked a political firestorm when it was published just before his inauguration in January 2017.
It contained unverified and controversial information about Mr. Trump and Russia that the former Republican leader has repeatedly denied, including allegations of sexual misbehaviour.
It included claims that Mr. Trump had been “compromised” by the Russian security service, FSB, and that Moscow had damning videotapes of Mr. Trump with prostitutes during a 2013 trip to the Russian capital.
It also alleged that Russian President Vladimir Putin “supported and directed” an operation to “cultivate” Mr. Trump as a presidential candidate for “at least five years”.
Some of the allegations fuelled a probe by U.S. special prosecutor Robert Mueller which concluded in 2019 that the Russian government had interfered with the 2016 election but found no evidence of collusion with Mr. Trump’s team.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly denounced the Steele dossier, which was leaked to Buzzfeed, as “fake”. The New York Times has determined there was no corroborating evidence to support many of its claims.
Mr. Trump claimed that Orbis unlawfully processed his personal data, and sought unspecified compensation for “serious distress and reputational damage”.
The company argued it was not responsible for the dossier’s publication.
The dossier, produced before Mr. Trump’s 2016 election win against Hillary Clinton, was commissioned by Democratic Party consultants.
Mr. Trump sued Ms. Clinton, Democratic Party leaders and Steele in the US over the report in 2022.
Steele, 59, ran the Russia desk of the U.K.’s Secret Intelligence Service known as MI6.