Presidential Free Speech

PUBLISHED: 4:18 PM 25 Sep 2018
UPDATED: 6:03 PM 25 Sep 2018

Judged Appears Poised To Toss Defamation Suit Against President

The U.S. District Court Judge appears likely to dismiss the lawsuit on a 'free speech' basis.

A federal judge appears to be poised to toss a lawsuit against the President.

After Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul, became President of the United States of America, the political left seemed to cast around for anyone who could possibly say something negative about him. For some reason, they chose to essentially lionize Stormy Daniels, an ‘adult video’ star who made numerous claims against the President, including suggesting that in 2011, he hired someone to threaten her to keep quiet about their ‘relationship.’

However, he claims of ‘defamation’ seem to be falling flat in light of the constitution. The federal judge overseeing the case has apparently been forced to acknowledge the First Amendment right of the President of the United States.

As is his habit, President Trump responded to the ‘composite sketch’ of the alleged ruffian that Daniels produced by calling it a “con job” on Twitter, while some commentators noted it looked a lot like her ex-husband, which prompted the starlet to sue him for defamation.

The adult film star, whose birth name was Stephanie Clifford, filed suit against President Trump in April, after he tweeted out that the man in her composite sketch was “nonexistent,” and suggested that she was playing the “fake news media” for fools.

Then he retweeted a photo comparing the sketch to Daniels’ husband.

Judge S. James Otero, who sits on a U.S. District Court, said that the tweet appeared to be “rhetorical hyperbole.”

As such, it would qualify for protection under the concept of ‘free speech,’ and the First Amendment.

Though Judge Otero said that he would rule later, he seemed to be of the opinion that the tweet represented an opinion (and, at this point, one arguably written about a public figure), protected by the Bill of Rights.

Otero said that “ to allow the complaint to go forward” and entertain the notion that the speech was defamatory in nature would have a “chilling effect.”

Ken White, a blogger and attorney commonly known as ‘Popehat’ and considered a constitutional law expert, has blogged about the case.

During his podcast, “All the President’s Lawyers,” he suggested that Otero wrote a tentative ruling, which he suspected would be finalized soon.

White suggested that the court decided that “it’s Trump, it’s Twitter,” and the president has a long history of throwing around insults on the platform that cannot be legitimately considered anything other than “exaggerated rhetoric.”

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for the ‘star,’ said outside of the courthouse that if the suit was dismissed, he would appeal the decision.

He also said that he found it ironic that Donald J. Trump would have a lawyer represent him in a federal court and “espouse on his behalf” that the First Amendment is important in the United States.

Avenatti seemed to suggest that it was hypocritical for the President to utilize a First Amendment defense after, in his view, he had “crapped all over the First Amendment” and media outlets.

Judge Otero also scheduled a hearing on December 3, in order to continue discussion on President Trump’s effort to dismiss a second lawsuit by Daniels concerning the hush-money agreement concerning their claimed affair.

In that case, in which Avenatti has also represented the starlet and her interests, both Donald Trump and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, face suit so that the claimant could take about the alleged affair without fear of legal reprisal.

In response, Cohen had threatened to sue her for $20 million, though since then, lawyers representing both defendants have said that the deal was invalid and she wouldn’t face a suit for breaking it.

Daniels and her attorney suggested that the deal should be invalid because Cohen signed it, but Donald Trump did not.

Lawyers for President Trump and Cohen have sought to dismiss that case as well, though Avenatti has attempted to keep the case alive.

According to the lawyer, he hoped that the case would allow him the chance to take testimony from the President of the United States of America concerning whether the claimed $130,000 deal was an attempt to silence Daniels during the campaign season.

He has also stated that he wants the defendants to pay his client’s legal fees, while Charles Harder, who represented Donald Trump, said he would ask Daniels to pay the President’s legal fees if the suit was dismissed.

While leftists and Avenatti might disparage the idea of the Commander-in-Chief’s speech being protected, the First Amendment certainly exists to protect opinions. The idea that Donald Trump could not have such an opinion is one that, as Otero suggested, would almost certainly have had a chilling effect on speech across the nation.

Furthermore, aside from voicing his disagreement with a number of mainstream media outlets that attacked him repeatedly since he became President, there’s nothing he did to undermine ‘Free Speech,’ despite what the porn star lawyer may believe.

By the end of the week, it is likely that the outcome of the dismissal request will be known. That decision could have far-reaching impact on the idea of free speech in the United States.