News & Opinion | December 21, 2017 3:19 pm

Judge Rules That BuzzFeed Doesn’t Have to Give Up Trump Dossier Source

A judge made the ruling in the defamation suit.

Does BuzzFeed Have What It Takes to Go Public?
(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A judge awarded BuzzFeed a big win on Thursday when he decided that the online news publication didn’t have to reveal the source of the infamous Trump Dossier, which was a spy report prepared by former British spy Christopher Steele that detailed everything from President Donald Trump’s alleged romps with prostitutes to coordination with the Russians over the hacking of Democrats, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Aleksej Gurbarev, a Russian tech entrepreneur, is suing BuzzFeed and editor Ben Smith for defamation over the publication of the Dossier, and he wants the individual of the person who provided it. BuzzFeed asserted reporter’s privilege under the Florida Shield Law, which says journalists should be able to protect sources absent a substantial need for relevant information, and the inability to find that information in any other way. U.S. Magistrate Judge John O’Sullivan said that BuzzFeed is covered under the Florida Shield Law and that Gurbarev has not demonstrated an inability to get the information through other means.