That would be, of course, former president Donald Trump, suing former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, he of the "Steele Dossier" and the alleged but non-existent "piss tape" and other artifacts of Russiagate that blew up in BlueAnon / Hillbot Democrats' faces in 2016 ... and thereafter.
Trump is suing Steele! Getcha popcorn, MAGA and BlueAnon
As I said on Twitter, if this were a Libel case, with differences between US and UK libel law, this might be be a slam dunk. But, per the Guardian story, that's NOT why Trump is suing, which makes this more interesting. And perhaps more dull as well. (Also, per that "differences" link, as of 2010, by US federal law, US courts are barred from enforcing UK libel judgments against American citizens. Interestingly, Brits were "shocked" by that. Since 2013, British law, per that same link, has also been tightened to get rid of the worst of "libel tourism.")
First, the Guardian notes that there has been a previous British libel case against Steele, this one by Russian national Alexsej Gubarev against Steele and his Orbis Business Services, his consulting firm he founded after MI6 retirement. But, the Guardian notes that a British judge dismissed that, and a US judge dismissed a similar suit here.
That may be part of why this isn't a libel suit.
Another part may be that Trump would have to air too much dirty laundry to win a libel suit, even in the UK.
But, it's not not a libel suit either. Hold on.
Instead, it's a data protection claim, the Guardian says. Those are kind of like US data protection laws, but, per the governing British law, allow sterner claims for a variety of circumstances, including "political opinions." This British law backgrounder website says that a data protection suit can be, and often is, especially in media law, used as an alternative to a defamation claim. That said, more of the burden of proof lies on the claimant. Back to "dirty laundry"?
There's one other reason this is a data claim. Per ThomsomReuters, with a basic overview of statute of limitations standards around the globe, it's one year for defamation but six years for general torts. But, Buzzfeed published in January 2017, if that's the clock-ticking date. Maybe the suit was officially filed months ago, and logistics, etc., have delayed any actual hearing.
Otherwise, I don't know. I still think this has the potential to backfire. Nor has anybody talking about this mentioned any information they have to that end, or who talked Trump into this, or couldn't talk him out of it, etc.
The British court's calendar indicates a two-day hearing starts Oct. 16. We'll learn then if it's totally dull or not.
As for the dossier? I early on didn't believe its big picture. Take the "piss tape." To blackmail someone, they have to have a sense of shame. Donald Trump is literally shameless; any father who talks about thoughts of lust about his own daughter qualifies right there.
Second, I rejected the other half of the framing, whether as originally sought by Republicans, or later sought and received by Democrats with further sexing up, that Russia had "kompromat" on Trump in general. First, see above. Second, the idea of Trump as a Manchurian candidate, Vladimir Putin collusion with him or anything similar? Laughable. Putin would know not to entangle himself with a flighty weathervane like Trump.
That's why I laughed even more at Jonathan Chait's claims (with David Corn about as bad) that Trump had been a Russian cutout since even before the fall of the Soviet Union.
That's just one part of it. There's the frauds like Mueller She Wrote and the somewhat better-insulated semi-frauds like Emptywheel who grifted on Russiagate. Or the New York Times, who tried to grift on Russiagate and put a thumb on the scale, too, for the 2022 midterms (also cluelessly ignoring that, post-Roe, abortion was THE voting issue).
Also, there were other good reasons to reject the collusion claims of Russiagate.