Donald Trump has once again prevailed in a defamation lawsuit, and even though he’s continually pushed for laws that would make it easier for plaintiffs to sue, he’ll be thankful that a federal judge has recognized the protections afforded by the First Amendment. Stormy Daniels was the plaintiff in this one. She not only sued Trump to invalidate a hush agreement over an alleged affair, but in the midst of the controversy, her attorney Michael Avenatti sheparded a claim over one of Trump’s tweets. Last April, Avenatti released a sketch of a man who allegedly threatened Daniels into remaining silent back in 2011. Trump tweeted, “A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!” In response, Trump moved to have the complaint stricken under Texas’ anti-SLAPP statute, which provides special protection against frivolous litigation usurping one’s free speech activity. Charles Harder, his attorney, argued that the statement at issue represented protected opinion and that Daniels hadn’t sufficiently alleged damages nor stated facts to show Trump acted with actual malice. U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero concludes that Daniels has failed to establish a prima facie… Read full this story
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