‘[T]he campaign filed this lawsuit … to hold the publishers accountable for their reckless false reporting and also to establish the truth…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Attorneys for President Donald Trump filed their third recent defamation lawsuit against the “fake news” for making knowingly false comments that recklessly and harmfully accused Trump of colluding with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
“The complaint alleges CNN was aware of the falsity at the time it published them but did so for the intentional purpose of hurting the campaign while misleading its own readers in the process,” said Jenna Ellis, senior legal adviser to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., according to Fox News.
“… [T]he campaign filed this lawsuit against CNN and the preceding suits … to hold the publishers accountable for their reckless false reporting and also to establish the truth,” Ellis said.
It specifically referenced a June 2019 story by Larry Noble, former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission, which was published on CNN.com.
Similar to the other two libelous examples, Noble accused Trump, without evidence, of “soliciting dirt” on Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
In fact, “there was an extensive record of statements from the Campaign and the administration expressly disavowing any intention to seek Russian assistance,” said the recent complaint.
“The Campaign therefore was left with no alternative but to file this lawsuit to: publicly establish the truth, properly inform CNN’s readers and audience (and the rest of the world) of the true facts, and seek appropriate remedies for the harm caused by CNN’s false reporting and failure to retract and apologize for it,” it said.
Trump’s legal score-settling follows not only the extensive and costly Mueller investigation into the Russia accusations, but also partisan House Democrats’ impeachment effort on unrelated—or, perhaps, loosely related—accusations that he sought Ukraine’s help in soliciting dirt on current presidential rival Joe Biden.
However, the president has the wind at his back in several regards. A recent settlement CNN made with Kentucky teenager Nick Sandmann over its false reporting during a media feeding frenzy in which the Covington Catholic High School student was accused of taunting a Native American activist.
Moreover, an undercover investigation by conservative watchdog group Project Veritas last year exposed the concerted efforts of CNN leadership—including network president Jeff Zucker—to smear Trump with negative coverage due to personal and political vendettas.
While left-wing legal analysts clamored to write off Trump’s earlier libel lawsuits as legally insupportable, Fox News commentator Gregg Jarrett made the case that the Times case did, in fact, meet the high legal bar, which ironically was established in a prior lawsuit against the newspaper, that it had acted with “actual malice” in a 2017 opinion piece by former Executive Editor Max Frankel.
“The evidence is contained in its own reporting,” Jarrett said.
“The newspaper’s previously published articles undermined or contradicted Frankel’s statement,” he continued. “… If the Times stands by the accuracy of its own reporters and the veracity of their stories, then it knew or should have known that Frankel’s column was false.”