WASHINGTON (McClatchy DC) A defamation suit brought against online news site BuzzFeed for its publishing of an intelligence dossier that alleges Kremlin ties to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been transferred to federal court.
The suit, brought by Cyprus-based tech mogul Aleksej Gubarev, was transferred Tuesday at BuzzFeed’s request from a local Florida court to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami.
Gubarev’s defamation suit against BuzzFeed demanded a response by Feb. 28, which has been extended. Since the lawsuit was filed, BuzzFeed has redacted Gubarev’s name from the document and apologized.
“I have agreed to give them to March 24,” said Val Gurvits, an attorney with the Boston Law Group, which has represented Gubarev and his companies, XBT and Webzilla, for a decade.
BuzzFeed Communications Director Matt Mittenthal said, “The damages Mr. Gubarev now claims are absurd and disproportionate. We are pleased a judge has agreed to our request to move this to federal court, where we look forward to resolving this matter quickly.”
Gurvits filed one of two suits on behalf of his client on Feb. 3, claiming BuzzFeed defamed Gubarev when the news site published a 35-page dossier of uncorroborated, explosive allegations compiled by a former British spy.
The dossier, which began as political opposition research, had been in the possession of McClatchy and several other news organizations, all of which had been working to corroborate allegations. One claimed that Gubarev and his companies were instrumental in the hacking of leaked Democratic Party emails that embarrassed Hillary Clinton and other Democrats.