On January 9, 2018, President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, filed a libel suit against BuzzFeed for posting a dossier containing unverified claims about ties between President Trump and Russia, including some involving Cohen. At issue are questions of whether alleged errors in the report constitute actual malice.

Charles D. Tobin, Co-Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr's Media and Entertainment Law Group, noted that Cohen would need to show that BuzzFeed knew specific claims about Cohen were false in order to prove actual malice. "Demonstrating that BuzzFeed was generally skeptical about the dossier, as a whole, would not be enough to win the case," said Mr. Tobin. "Cohen is going to have to bring actual malice home to the individual facts that he claims are defamatory," he continued. "An extraneous fact that didn't involve Cohen just isn’t relevant to whether they knowingly published a false statement about him."

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