Trump campaign preparing defamation lawsuit against the New York Times

Despite the prevailing wisdom that it is virtually impossible for a “public figure” to win a libel action against the media, unnamed sources in the Trump campaign tell the Washington Examiner’s Gabby Morrongiello that a defamation lawsuit against the New York Times is being drafted.

 Within hours of threatening to take legal action against the major publication for launching a "completely false, coordinated character assassination against" him, Trump had requested that his attorneys draft a major lawsuit against the Times.

"This is war," said one campaign insider with knowledge of the situation. The same source accused the Times and other mainstream media outlets of "working hand in hand" with Hillary Clinton's campaign to sabotage Trump in the final month before the election.

"We're coming at them strong and everybody better have a good lawyer," the source said.

Compelling the financially challenged New York Times Company to spend a lot of money on lawyers inherently punishes them. This is the truth of libel law. Even a publication that is vindicated ends up with expensive legal bills. Trump’s foes will see this as a clear-cut case of bullying, and will clutch their pearls over the threat to a free press when a potential president intimidates the media for publishing news he doesn’t like. Of course, there is no need for Hillary Clinton to go in this direction, because a Times reporter of high standing actually gave her staff the right to approve which quotes he would use in an article.

Perhaps Trump and his staff are looking forward to discovery proceedings, where they get to inspect the Times emails and files.  We already know via Wikileaks that the Times is in bed with the Hillary campaign. Evidence of a commitment to defeat Trump could provide the “actual malice” standard the law requires from public figures.

I am no lawyer so I can’t go into any depth on this. But the New York Times loses no matter what verdict, if any, is reached.  The possibility of exposing further evidence of a conspirtacy between the Times and the Hillary campaign is intriguing.

Despite the prevailing wisdom that it is virtually impossible for a “public figure” to win a libel action against the media, unnamed sources in the Trump campaign tell the Washington Examiner’s Gabby Morrongiello that a defamation lawsuit against the New York Times is being drafted.

 Within hours of threatening to take legal action against the major publication for launching a "completely false, coordinated character assassination against" him, Trump had requested that his attorneys draft a major lawsuit against the Times.

"This is war," said one campaign insider with knowledge of the situation. The same source accused the Times and other mainstream media outlets of "working hand in hand" with Hillary Clinton's campaign to sabotage Trump in the final month before the election.

"We're coming at them strong and everybody better have a good lawyer," the source said.

Compelling the financially challenged New York Times Company to spend a lot of money on lawyers inherently punishes them. This is the truth of libel law. Even a publication that is vindicated ends up with expensive legal bills. Trump’s foes will see this as a clear-cut case of bullying, and will clutch their pearls over the threat to a free press when a potential president intimidates the media for publishing news he doesn’t like. Of course, there is no need for Hillary Clinton to go in this direction, because a Times reporter of high standing actually gave her staff the right to approve which quotes he would use in an article.

Perhaps Trump and his staff are looking forward to discovery proceedings, where they get to inspect the Times emails and files.  We already know via Wikileaks that the Times is in bed with the Hillary campaign. Evidence of a commitment to defeat Trump could provide the “actual malice” standard the law requires from public figures.

I am no lawyer so I can’t go into any depth on this. But the New York Times loses no matter what verdict, if any, is reached.  The possibility of exposing further evidence of a conspirtacy between the Times and the Hillary campaign is intriguing.