(FinancialPress) — The case of a russian technology exec against american blog/news outlet Buzzfeed has taken an unexpected turn, as the former‘s legal team has announced it has pinned down the source for the infamous Trump dossier leak.
Aleksej Gubarev‘s attorney Val Gurvits revealed the new information after a federal judge ruled that Buzzfeed is a news organization and, therefore, is under the governance of a law that makes journalists able to keep their sources classified.
“With respect to this ruling, what the Court really said here is that before BuzzFeed could be required to tell us its source, we had to try to get the information from other places. As it turns out, we WERE able to get the information we wanted from another source and were actually in the process of withdrawing our Motion when this decision [was] issued,” Gurvits stated to CNN in an email.
“Also, it has been reported to us that BuzzFeed seems to be celebrating this ruling. I am not sure why BuzzFeed would be celebrating this ruling, when they know that we already obtained the information about how they got the Dossier from another source,” Gurvits continued. “And while I cannot as of yet reveal this information, it is certainly NOT something I would celebrate if I was BuzzFeed.”
“So unless BuzzFeed is celebrating their poor and unprofessional journalistic practices, I am really at a loss why they think this ruling is good news.” – he closed off.
Matt Mittenhal, a Buzzfeed spokesperson, had released a statement before Gurvit‘s revelations – celebrating the court ruling: “the First Amendment gives plaintiffs every right to try to spin a loss as a win, but in this case it will not work.”
“The issue before the court was about protecting sources and the judge ruled clearly in BuzzFeed’s favor,” Mittenthal said. “And we would note that the judge dismissed any questions about BuzzFeed’s journalistic standing in his ruling.”
When informed of Gurvit‘s reveal, Mittenhal chose to withhold any further comment.
Gubarev launched the lawsuit against Buzzfeed in the United States District Court in the Southern District of Florida in February following the website‘s release of the full Trump dossier, which included the plaintiff‘s name. Ben Smith, editor-in-chief for the site, was also named as a defendant. After the filing, Buzzfeed redacted Gubarev‘s name out of the publication and issued an apology.
Gubarev sued BuzzFeed in the United States District Court in the Southern District of Florida in February after BuzzFeed published the full dossier, which included Gubarev’s name. The website’s editor-in-chief, Ben Smith, was also named as a defendant. After the suit was filed, BuzzFeed redacted Gubarev’s name from the copy of the dossier on its website and issued an apology.