President Donald Trump is poised to target people who have differing opinions than his own by filing lawsuits against them after being asking about his lawsuit against the New York Times over an op-ed from 2019.
In this opinion piece, former NYT executive editor Max Frankel suggested Trump’s 2016 campaign had a quid pro quo with Russia. As we all know, Trump asked Russia during a press conference in the heat of the election to hack the DNC and Hillary Clinton. Trump’s campaign also met with Russian agents inside Trump Tower just weeks before Trump made that request and has been subservient to Russia and Vladimir Putin ever since he took office.
Having an opinion based on disclosed facts is most certainly not libel, as prominent Ted Boutrous explained on Twitter:
Yet another egregious example of Trump abusing the judicial process to chill freedom of speech and of the press. This column is opinion based on disclosed facts about issues of great public concern relating to the President. The First Amendment unequivocally bars this lawsuit. https://t.co/IzQr4jlwTk
— Ted Boutrous (@BoutrousTed) February 26, 2020
Of course, now the New York Times will get to do discovery concerning Trump’s ties to Russia, a road Trump may not want to go down as November approaches. Should any damning information be found, Trump would be in deep trouble.
Nevertheless, Trump defended the lawsuit on Wednesday during his embarrassing news conference and promised that more such lawsuits against opinions contrary to his own are on the way.
“Is it your opinion or is it your contention that if people have an opinion contrary to yours that they should be sued?” Playboy White House correspondent Brian Karem asked.
“Well, when they get the opinion totally wrong, as the New York Times did, and, frankly, they’ve got a lot wrong over the last number of years,” Trump said. “So we’ll see how that, let that work its way through the courts. If you read it, you’ll see. It’s beyond an opinion. That’s not an opinion. That’s much more than an opinion. They did a bad thing, and there will be more coming.”
Here’s the video via Twitter:
Trump threatens more lawsuits against media outlets that express opinions he doesn’t like pic.twitter.com/7aq53B1CzH
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 27, 2020
This is not a fight that Trump can win. It takes a lot to prove libel and such lawsuits make it appear that Trump is trying to silence or censor newspapers or anyone who disagrees with him. That’s not a good look in any election year. It just makes him look like a petty tyrant.
Featured image via screen capture
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