When President Trump warned that lawsuits would be coming over the New York Times’ false reports of him colluding with Russia, most media outlets laughed it off as nothing but bluster. They are very slow learners.
Wednesday, Trump’s reelection campaign filed suit in New York State court against the Times for allegedly knowingly publishing false and defamatory statements about Trump and his campaign aides.
They specifically cited an op-ed by Max Frankel published on March 27th of last year, titled “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo,” which flatly states that there was a deal between Trump’s campaign and “Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy” to defeat Hillary Clinton. His attorneys pointed out that the article included no proof of this claim, and it was knowingly defamatory because it contradicted the paper’s own previous reporting. They claim it was rushed out to get ahead of the release of the Mueller report, which the paper knew was likely to find no evidence of any collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia. They further claim this is part of a “systematic pattern of bias against the Campaign, designed to maliciously interfere with and damage its reputation and seek to cause the organization to fail.”
Defamation cases are notoriously difficult for public figures to win, even more so for political office holders. The Times naturally dismissed the lawsuit, claiming the article was just an opinion piece protected by the First Amendment (for blanket protection, I suggest that they declare everything in the New York Times to be an opinion piece.)
The lawsuit is the longest of longshots, but it does serve as a shot across the bow to the biased media that we know what they are doing and it will no longer be shrugged off and ignored. And on the rare chance that Trump does find a judge who allows it to go forward, the discovery phase of how the New York Times creates its anti-Trump articles would be a lot of fun. Trump could just do what liberals who are trying to thwart his agenda do: go shopping for a judge who hates the defendant. Wonder if he’s appointed any of those?...