Trump lawyer Michael Cohen drops lawsuit against BuzzFeed over Steele dossier

Michael Cohen, the embattled lawyer for President Donald Trump, has dropped his lawsuit against BuzzFeed over the media organization's publication of a dossier that contained lurid allegations about the president.

Cohen has denied parts of the dossier, a 35-page document compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, in which he is mentioned, particularly details about his wife and her father. Cohen filed the lawsuit in January in New York, claiming that the "entirely and totally false" allegations in the Dossier had damaged his reputation.

In a court document filed on Wednesday, Cohen's lawyer, David Schwartz, served notice that the lawsuit against BuzzFeed and four of its employees had been dropped. Cohen also dropped a separate lawsuit against Fusion GPS, the political research firm that contracted Steele to assemble the dossier, according to various newsreports.

Matt Mittenthal, direct of communications for BuzzFeed News, said in a statement that the lawsuit never had merit.

"The lawsuits against BuzzFeed over the Steele dossier have never been about the merits of our decision to publish it," Mittenthal wrote.

Cohen did not immediately return a request for comment.

BuzzFeed published the dossier in January 2017 and noted at the time that the allegations in the document had not bee substantiated. Still, the publication of the dossier stirred controversy and helped ignite speculation on Trump's connections to Russia.

The dossier has been a hot topic among conservative pundits who have claimed that it is illegitimate and fueled the special investigation of Robert Mueller.

Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News, wrote a New York Times op-ed one year after publishing the dossier in which he defended his decision to make the document public.

"Without the dossier, Americans would have found it difficult to understand the actions of their elected representatives and government officials," he wrote.

Cohen is currently dealing with other legal issues. The FBI raided his office and hotel room last week in search of information about Cohen's $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, which she has claimed was in return for her silence about an alleged affair with Trump.