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Donald Trump wants to give evidence in London to seek ‘a vindication’ over ‘false’ allegations he took part in ‘golden showers’ with Moscow prostitutes and paid bribes to Russian officials, the High Court heard today. 

The former president of the United States, 77, is bringing a data protection claim against Orbis Business Intelligence – a consultancy founded by former MI6 officer Christopher Steele – and is seeking compensation for distress.

Mr Steele, who previously ran the Secret Intelligence Service’s Russia desk, was the author of the so-called Steele dossier which included allegations Mr Trump had been ‘compromised’ by the Russian security service, the FSB.

At the start of a two-day hearing, the High Court was told Mr Trump is bringing his case over two memos in the dossier which claimed the former president had taken part in ‘sex parties’ while in St Petersburg and performed ‘perverted sex acts’ on prostitutes in Moscow.

Hugh Tomlinson KC, for Mr Trump, described the allegations as ‘egregiously inaccurate’ and said the property tycoon wants to give evidence in the London court to prove they are false.

Donald Trump, seen at a campaign rally in New Hampshire earlier this month, is bringing a data protection claim against Orbis Business Intelligence

Orbis Business Intelligence was founded by Christopher Steele, who previously ran MI6’s Russia desk  

The barrister said the ‘now notorious Steele dossier… contained shocking and scandalous claims about the personal conduct of President Trump’ and included allegations he paid bribes to Russian officials to further his business interests.

In written submissions, Mr Tomlinson said Orbis is accused of unlawfully processing Mr Trump’s personal data, causing him ‘serious distress and reputational damage’.

He told the court: ‘President Trump begins this case because he seeks a vindication of his legal rights… that the statements in these memoranda are false.’

The court heard Mr Trump accepts Orbis is not responsible for the publication of the dossier – as it was leaked to and published by BuzzFeed – but claims his data was processed by the consultancy.

Mr Tomlinson later described Mr Trump as a ‘controversial figure’, adding: ‘He often expresses himself in very strong language… his interactions with the US legal system have been many and varies.

‘None of this is relevant to the question of whether the personal data in question is accurate.’

But lawyers for Orbis asked for Mr Trump’s claim to be thrown out, telling the court it was ‘brought for the purpose of harassing Orbis and Mr Steele and pursuing longstanding grievances’.

The ‘Steele Dossier’ included allegations that Mr Trump had been ‘compromised’ by the Russian security service, the FSB. Pictured in Vladimir Putin today in Moscow

Antony White KC, for the consultancy, said in written submissions the case ‘has no realistic prospect of success’ and has been brought too late.

He said: ‘The claim for compensation is principally based on reputational damage allegedly suffered by the claimant.

‘This claim is bound to fail on limitation grounds and because any reputational damage, and any resulting distress, allegedly suffered will have been caused by the BuzzFeed publication, for which the claimant accepts Orbis is not liable.’

Mr White said the dossier was never intended to be made public and all copies of the memos held by Orbis were destroyed in 2017.

The barrister later said Mr Trump’s case had been brought to pursue a ‘vendetta’ against Orbis and Mr Steel.

He continued: ‘The claimant has a deep and intense animus against Mr Steele and Orbis, which is reflected in numerous vituperative public statements which he has made since the dossier was made public by BuzzFeed in 2017.’

Mr White said Mr Trump ‘has a long history of repeatedly bringing frivolous, meritless and vexatious claims for the purpose of vexing and harassing perceived enemies and others against whom he bears a grudge’.

The Steele Dossier was published before the 2017 election. Pictured is Mr Trump coming down the Trump Tower escalator in 2015 to announce his candidacy 

The hearing before Mrs Justice Steyn is set to conclude on Tuesday, with a decision expected at a later date.

Mr Steele and Orbis Business Intelligence were previously sued for libel by Russian national Aleksej Gubarev, claiming they were legally responsible for BuzzFeed publishing the dossier. 

However, in a judgment in October 2020, Lord Justice Warby dismissed the claim.

Data protection claims are becoming an increasingly common way for high-profile individuals to take legal action through the English courts. 

In 2020 three oligarchs, German Khan, Petr Aven and Mikhail Fridman, won a case against Orbis in London’s High Court for alleged breaches of data protection laws over the dossier. 

The trio said they brought the legal action to ‘clear their names and correct the public record’ about the claims made about them and to prove they were not ‘creatures of the Kremlin’.

The London lawsuit comes as Mr Trump faces a series of criminal and civil cases in the US. 

His lawyers will appear in a US court today to argue against a proposed gag order that would halt his verbal attacks against likely witnesses and others in his 2020 election interference case in Washington.

The data protection lawsuit is being held at the High Court in London, which is housed inside the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand (pictured) 

In pressing US District Judge Tanya Chutkan to impose the order, special counsel Jack Smith’s team has accused Mr Trump of using increasingly incendiary rhetoric to try to undermine the public’s confidence in the justice system and taint the jury pool.

The former president’s defence has called the proposal an unconstitutional effort to ‘silence’ his political speech as he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. 

It comes after a judge overseeing Mr Trump’s $250m civil fraud trial in New York imposed a more limited gag order, prohibiting personal attacks against court personnel following a social media post which maligned the judge’s principal clerk.

Prosecutors are asking the judge to bar Mr Trump and lawyers from making statements ‘that pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case’, including inflammatory or intimidating remarks about witnesses, lawyers and other people involved in the case.

It is not clear whether the judge, who has said Mr Trump does not have to attend the hearing, will issue a ruling today. 

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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