President Trump filed a libel lawsuit against CNN after publishing an article written by contributor Larry Noble. He released new details at the time about Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation. Noble’s piece stated…“the Trump campaign assessed the potential risks and benefits of again seeking Russia’s help in 2020 and has decided to leave that option on the table.”
Deadline.com reported that U.S. District Judge Michael L. Brown dismissing Trump’s lawsuit said the President’s lawyers failed to sufficiently allege and provide no evidence that the CNN network maliciously published the column.
That didn’t stop Trump’s lawyers from alleging without the evidence to back it up that CNN published the Larry Noble column maliciously with the knowledge that it was false. The requirement of proving CNN both knowingly and maliciously published the article is an incredibly high legal threshold to meet. Yet, in this lawsuit, there was no evidence to support Trump’s allegation.
In his opinion, Judge Brown asserted that “most of the allegations in the complaint regarding actual malice are conclusory. Plaintiff, for example, alleges in a purely conclusory manner that Defendants ‘clearly had a malicious motive’ and ‘knowingly disregarded all . . . information when it published the Defamatory Article.’”
However, Judge Brown gave the Trump team an option to refile the complaint with concrete malice examples.
For its part, CNN argued that Larry Nobel’s article was the columnist’s opinion and was posted as such, but Judge Brown refused to agree with that either, saying that the assertion was stated as if it was a fact.
Trump 2020 legal adviser breaks down a lawsuit against CNN