Georgian-American Businessman Takes Defamation Battle to D.C. Appeals Court Over Mueller Report

Unveiling Defamation Claims

Georgian-American businessman Giorgi Rtskhiladze is making headlines as he pursues relief in a federal appeals court, seeking resolution in a long-standing legal battle against the inclusion of his name in the infamous ‘golden showers’ footnote of the Mueller report.


Lawsuit Against Mueller and DOJ

Rtskhiladze initiated legal action against former special counsel Robert Mueller and the Justice Department, alleging defamation. The crux of the matter revolves around Rtskhiladze’s communication with Michael Cohen, where he claimed to have ‘stopped flow of tapes from Russia.’ This statement found its way into the Mueller report and contributed to the ‘golden showers’ controversy surrounding Donald Trump.


Allegations of Defamation

The inclusion of Rtskhiladze’s quote in the Mueller report triggered explosive reactions, especially considering the unverified Steele dossier’s rumors about Trump’s alleged conduct in a Moscow hotel. Rtskhiladze contends that the report’s depiction of his grand jury testimony was inaccurate and damaging, leading to defamation.


Court of Appeals Appearance

Rtskhiladze’s lawyer, Jerome Madden, presented the case before a D.C. Court of Appeals panel, arguing against a previous ruling that deemed Rtskhiladze lacked standing to sue. Madden emphasized that the Department of Justice misquoted the transcript, leaving out crucial details and contributing to the defamation of his client.


Seeking Transparency: Access to Transcripts

Central to Rtskhiladze’s quest for justice is the demand for access to the original grand jury transcript. Chief Judge Beryl Howell ruled to keep the transcripts under seal, a decision contested by Rtskhiladze’s legal team, who assert the right to publicize the content to set the record straight.


Discrepancies in Reporting

One of the key points of contention revolves around a word omitted in the Mueller report’s inclusion of Rtskhiladze’s text to Cohen. The report stated, ‘Stopped flow of tapes from Russia,’ while Rtskhiladze insists he actually said, ‘Stopped flow of some tapes from Russia.’ This nuanced difference is crucial in understanding the context and intent behind the communication.


Impact on Livelihood and Defiant Stance

Rtskhiladze’s lawyer passionately argued that Footnote 112 in the Mueller report had a devastating impact on his client’s livelihood. Rtskhiladze himself, currently in Kazakhstan, expressed a determination to clear his name, even suggesting an appeal to the Supreme Court if necessary. The businessman insists on his innocence and the need for transparency.


Lingering Focus on Mueller Report

While Rtskhiladze fights for justice, the Mueller report continues to capture attention years after its release. Even former President Donald Trump, facing multiple criminal trials, revisits the ‘witch hunt’ narrative, referencing the ‘golden showers’ episode during recent public speeches.


The Journey Ahead

As the three-judge panel deliberates, Rtskhiladze remains resolute in his pursuit of justice, prepared to escalate the legal battle to higher courts if needed. The outcome could potentially impact the broader discourse surrounding the Mueller report and its enduring repercussions.

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