Judge May Toss Stormy Daniels Libel Lawsuit Against Trump


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Bloomberg are reporting U.S. District Judge S. James Otero is leaning towards tossing out Stormy Daniels libel lawsuit against President Trump, saying the president was engaging in free speech.

The lawsuit stems from a tweet the president sent in response to Daniels (whose real name is Stephanie Clifford) claim she was threatened by an unknown man in 2011 for agreeing to interview with a magazine to detail an alleged sexual encounter she had with Trump in 2006. After her attorney released a composite sketch of the man Daniels said attacked her, Trump tweeted, “A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, played by the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!”

“The question is whether the tweet by the president is protected communication or political hyperbole and non-defamatory on its face,” Judge Otero said at a hearing on Monday. “He’s a public official, he’s president of the United States, so it doesn’t get much higher than that. It’s free speech by a public official on a matter of public concern.”

Michael Avenatti, Daniels’ attorney, told reporters he plans to appeal if the case is thrown out.