A Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge tossed a defamation lawsuit against Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos after finding the plaintiff's claims were based on hearsay.
The judge rejected the argument that the president was acting in his official capacity when he denied E. Jean Carroll's rape allegations. Had the Department of Justice taken over the President's defense, it would likely have spelled the end of the case.
To satisfy the standard for defamation, Ms. Trump and Kushner would have to prove that the Lincoln Project made false and defamatory statements knowingly, a standard few commentators think the couple is going to meet. Instead, multiple experts see their actions as an attempt to weaponize the law to intimidate critics for protected expression.
“There is not a single person in the United States—not the President and not anyone else—whose job description includes slandering women they sexually assaulted,” Roberta Kaplan wrote in response to the Department of Justice’s motion. “That should not be a controversial proposition. Remarkably, however, the Justice Department seeks to prove it wrong.”
Judge Jeff Hughes has sued the head of a watchdog group and local newspaper for editorials criticizing his handling of a child custody case. The editorials stemmed from an ongoing investigative series into judicial misconduct in Louisiana courts.
The judge is asking the family to submit a new complaint based only on whether the family's dairy farm knowingly hired undocumented workers. The new complaint will also have to contain a new argument showing actual malice.
The substitution would not only help Trump financially–his defense, including any settlement or damages payout, would be funded using taxpayer money–but would also likely spell the end of the lawsuit. Federal officials are typically given broad protections from lawsuits.
On August 28th, a federal judge ruled that a defamation suit brought by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin against The New York Times can proceed to trial.