An individual’s Facebook post accusing an apartment manager of being a “slumlord” was protected rhetorical hyperbole rather than a false statement of fact, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled on April 16th in Bauer v. Brinkman.
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.
Though Daniels claimed that Trump’s use of the term “con job” implied that she had committed criminal fraud, the appeals court reasoned that this was only one of a number of possible ways to read the President's tweet. Ultimately, the appeals court ruled the tweet an opinion and, thus, not actionable.