President Donald Trump's personal attorney dropped a pair of libel lawsuits against BuzzFeed and investigation firm Fusion GPS amid the stir caused by an FBI search of the lawyer's files.
Michael Cohen had sued in New York City over publication of the unverified dossier detailing alleged ties between Trump and Russia. He dropped the suits late Wednesday amid a separate legal battle over the seizure of documents and electronic files from his home, office and hotel room last week in a federal investigation of possible financial fraud.
The dossier claims that Cohen met with Russian operatives in Europe for a meeting to "clean up the mess" over disclosures of other Trump associates' reported ties to Russia.
Cohen's attorney, David Schwartz, said Thursday the decision to abandon the suits was difficult.
"We believe the defendants defamed my client, and vindicating Mr. Cohen's rights was — and still remains — important," he said in a statement. "But given the events that have unfolded, and the time, attention and resources needed to prosecute these matters, we have dismissed the matters, despite their merits."
In a statement, BuzzFeed called the suit against it meritless.
"Today's news suggests that Donald Trump's personal lawyer no longer thinks an attack on the free press is worth his time," it said.
Fusion GPS said in a statement that it welcomed Cohen's decision.
"With his decision, it appears that Mr. Cohen can now focus on his many other legal travails," it said.