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Sat Mar 7, 2020, 07:10 PM

Trump Campaign's Libel Claims Are Long Shots

A series of libel lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign against large media organizations are likely to run up against tough obstacles and depending on how far they progress, could subject the president to depositions, according to legal experts.

The Trump campaign’s defamation claims against the New York Times on Feb. 26, the Post on Monday and CNN on Friday appear to be unprecedented, legal scholars said. Courts have heard defamation lawsuits from governors, an ex-president and a presidential candidate, but legal scholars said they couldn’t recall the last time a sitting U.S. president or his campaign elevated grievances against the news media into civil legal action. The Trump campaign’s initial lawsuits concerned two Post opinion pieces published in June last year and one in the New York Times last March. Each contain passages implying Donald Trump sought or welcomed Russia’s intervention in the 2016 presidential election or the 2020 race.

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The lawsuits demand millions of dollars in damages. The suits were filed in federal court in Washington against the Post, in New York state court against the Times and in Atlanta federal court against CNN. President Trump is entitled to the protections of libel law, but his campaign organization could have disadvantages as a plaintiff, say legal scholars. When it comes to defamation litigation, public figures like Mr. Trump must establish that not only was a statement false and defamatory, but also that it was published with “actual malice.” That means showing evidence that the people who wrote and edited the statement knew it was false—or likely false but they didn’t care to print the truth.

(snip)

Legal scholars said there is a crucial distinction between statements asserting facts and ones expressing opinions. Opinions are usually treated as protected speech, while an incorrect, defamatory fact isn’t. Libel law tends to have gray areas and close judgment calls. That is where the president’s campaign—with its powerful platform—may be less likely to get the benefit of the doubt, said Rodney Smolla, a First Amendment scholar at Delaware Law School of Widener University. He said a jury or judge would probably be “extremely skeptical of a suit brought by the president of the United States for libel given the powerful First Amendment principles that protect dissent.”

(snip)

Mr. Trump and past presidents have avoided testifying as defendants in civil lawsuits by arguing that the proceedings would interfere with their public duties. It would be harder for Mr. Trump to dodge deposition when his campaign is the one doing the suing. Should the lawsuits survive motions to dismiss, the Times and the Post would likely get an opportunity to examine and cross-examine Mr. Trump under oath about the articles in question and their assertions about his dealings with Russia, according to legal experts.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-campaigns-libel-claims-are-longshots-11583498061 (subscription)

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Reply Trump Campaign's Libel Claims Are Long Shots (Original post)
question everything Mar 7 OP
leftieNanner Mar 7 #1
abqtommy Mar 7 #5
Wellstone ruled Mar 7 #2
AJT Mar 7 #3
Wounded Bear Mar 7 #7
Andy823 Mar 7 #4
Karadeniz Mar 7 #6
misanthrope Mar 7 #8

Response to question everything (Original post)

Sat Mar 7, 2020, 07:15 PM

1. The little magic word that should head off these absurd lawsuits

And that word is - DISCOVERY.

Hey Donnie Two Scoops! You really want CNN and the NYT digging into your campaign?

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Response to leftieNanner (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 7, 2020, 09:08 PM

5. +100 Spot on!

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Sat Mar 7, 2020, 07:19 PM

2. Orange anus is Scared to death

of the Train Wreck that is coming down his track. He will work this to beat hell if his Dailies go south.

Could be his bailout strategy. He knows that Septic tank Pumper is going to give him the shower of a life time.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Sat Mar 7, 2020, 07:46 PM

3. When will dems start suing Fox news?

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Response to AJT (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 7, 2020, 11:45 PM

7. GMTA...was wondering the same thing...

Hell, Hillary and Obama could both sue them for years of libel.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Sat Mar 7, 2020, 08:05 PM

4. He is trying to scare

the media so they will "stop" posting the "truth" about him and his whole administration. This is just how he works. Thing is this time it's not some small business owner who backs down. The media won't back down, and they would love to be able to question him during discovery.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Sat Mar 7, 2020, 10:36 PM

6. If/When he loses, can the defendants recoup their costs or countersue?

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Sat Mar 7, 2020, 11:48 PM

8. He's a public figure

Case dismissed.

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