Trump Files Lawsuit Against The New York Times Over Russia Interference Coverage
President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has filed a libel lawsuit against The New York Times, according to The Hill, claiming that it knowingly published false information about Trump in a 2019 op-ed.
The lawsuit, which “accuses the Times of intentionally defaming Trump with an op-ed claiming that his 2016 campaign had an overarching deal’ with Russia,” was filed in the New York State Supreme Court on Wednesday.
An attorney for the Trump campaign, Jenna Ellis, said in a statement: "The statements were and are 100 percent false and defamatory. The complaint alleges The Times was aware of the falsity at the time it published them, but did so for the intentional purpose of hurting the campaign, while misleading its own readers in the process.”
But The Hill noted that the Trump lawsuit is unlikely to breeze through to success, pointing out that “the Supreme Court severely restricted the ability of public officials to sue for defamation” in 1964. The ruling in New York Times v. Sullivan determined that a plaintiff would have to prove “actual malice”.
The president’s lawsuit claims that malice is evident in The Times’ “systemic pattern of bias” against the Trump campaign, which it claims is “designed to maliciously interfere with and damage its reputation and seek to cause the organization to fail.”
The Hill noted that the op-ed at issue was written by former New York Times executive editor Max Frankel, which argued that there was an understanding between the Trump campaign and Russia aimed at getting Trump elected.