The president of the United States, Donald Trump, took another step to move his battle against the generalist media to the legal field, by suing the Washington Post through his election campaign, a week after doing the same with The New York Times.
Trump’s campaign filed a libel suit before the federal court of the District of Columbia, in Washington, in which he asks the Post to compensate them with several “millions of dollars” for two articles published last year that, in his opinion, “They falsely reported a conspiracy with Russia as if it were a fact.”
The articles “included defamatory claims that the (Trump) campaign ‘tried to conspire with’ a widespread and systematic ‘attack by Russia against the 2016 presidential elections,” said the legal adviser to the Trump reelection campaign. , Jenna Ellis, in a statement.
These statements appeared in a June 2019 opinion article in the context of a description of the Russian plot report prepared by special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
The opinion column also indicated that Mueller’s report concluded that Trump’s campaign “attempted to conspire” with Russia.
The president’s election team argued that the accusation is something “defamatory”, and also cited another article of the same month published by the Washington Post that raised the possibility that Russia and North Korea could “help Trump’s campaign” this year.
“These statements were and are one hundred percent false and defamatory. The lawsuit alleges that the Post was aware of the falsehood at the time of publication but did so with the intended purpose of damaging the campaign,” said Ellis.
The newspaper’s spokeswoman, Kris Coratti, said it is “disappointing that the president’s campaign committee relies on such tactics,” and said the newspaper will “vigorously defend itself in this case.”
The lawsuit comes six days after Trump’s campaign also asked the New York Times for “millions of dollars” before the Manhattan Supreme Court because, in his opinion, the New York newspaper published “falsely” that there was a “conspiracy with Russia” As a true fact.
That was the first libel suit ever filed by a US president. against a media outlet, as an expert lawyer in law related to freedom of expression, Theodore Boutrous Jr. wrote in the Post.
However, legal standards on defamation in the US they make it “virtually impossible” for Trump to win his cases against the Post and the Times.