Johnny Depp's attorneys Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez speak to the media after the jury announced split verdicts in favor of both Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard on their claim and counter-claim in the Depp v. Heard civil defamation trial at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, June 1, 2022. (REUTERS/Tom Brenner)
 

Defamation

Johnny Depp's attorneys Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez speak to the media after the jury announced split verdicts in favor of both Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard on their claim and counter-claim in the Depp v. Heard civil defamation trial at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, June 1, 2022. (REUTERS/Tom Brenner)

We’re living in an era of political division and the past seven years have produced high-level clashes in the form of defamation lawsuits. First Amendment Watch has compiled recent coverage that provides context about some of the bigger cases within defamation law. The topics explored:

The explosion of disinformation (Alex Jones); false election claims (Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic); political retribution (Devin Nunes) and lawsuits filed on behalf of, as well as against, a sitting U.S. president (Donald Trump).

Teacher Guide

Do First Amendment Defenses Save Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones from the Sandy Hook Lawsuits?

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Political Defamation Lawsuits | Alex Jones | Devin Nunes | Trump Suing for Defamation | Trump Sued for Defamation | Defamation: E. Jean Carroll v. Trump | Election Fraud

Political Defamation Lawsuits
Outside of the Fulton County Jail following the indictment of former U.S. President Trump

Judge Finds Rudy Giuliani Liable for Defaming Georgia Election Workers

A federal judge entered a default judgment Wednesday against Rudy Giuliani in a defamation lawsuit brought by two Georgia election workers who say they were falsely accused of participating in fraud during the 2020 presidential election.

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In this June 26, 2021, file photo, former President Donald Trump looks on during his first post-presidency campaign rally in Wellington, Ohio. (Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

Federal Judge Dismisses the Trump Campaign’s Defamation Lawsuit Against The Washington Post

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Feb. 3 ruling the Trump Campaign did not adequately plead the factual basis of actual malice for an allegedly defamatory Washington Post article, and ruled another was protected opinion.

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Rep. Devin Nunes Sues The Washington Post Again for Defamation

Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) has filed yet another defamation suit against a media company. On November 11th, Nunes filed a libel suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against The Washington Post and reporter Ellen Nakashima. According to the complaint, The Post published an article that “falsely accused” Nunes of “dishonesty, deception, lying to the American public, spreading disinformation, lack of integrity, and ethical improprieties.”

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Nunes Trump

How Trump and Nunes Use Defamation Lawsuits To Silence Their Critics

Public officials using libel suits as a weapon against the press is nothing new. In the time of Times v. Sullivan, southern officials had brought nearly $300 million in libel actions against the press. For reference, Nunes alone has brought just over $900 million in defamation claims in a twelve-month period.

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CNN

President Trump Files Third Defamation Lawsuit, Targets CNN

“These suits will likely fail in court but in the meantime they’ll gratify Trump’s base, distract the press and public, and deter speech and journalism that are vital to our democracy. That's presumably the point," Director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University Jameel Jaffer said on Twitter.

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President Trump

Trump Campaign Sues Washington Post for Defamation, One Week after NY Times Lawsuit

The eight-page complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, claims that two essays falsely accused his campaign of conspiring with foreign governments to interfere with the 2016 election.

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Former House IT Staffer Sues The Daily Caller For Defamation

A former House IT staffer sued the Daily Caller, reporter and book author Luke  Rosiak, and Regnery Publishing for defamation. The suit, filed in D.C. Superior Court on January 28th, alleges that Imran Awan, his wife, and three others were targeted by Rosniak and the conservative news outlet who falsely accused them of crimes including hacking, espionage, and theft.

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California Becomes the Second State to Restrict Political “Deepfakes”

California passed a bill that would prohibit the use of “deepfake” technology to spread false information about a candidate within 60 days of an election. While some have touted the bill as a necessary step towards addressing the spread of disinformation, others, including many free speech advocates, argue that the law conflicts with First Amendment law.

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Notable Legal Ruling For Buzzfeed in Dossier Defense

A judge ruled that Buzzfeed may have legal protection for its decision to publish the “dossier” and a brief accompanying article in January 2017, and could claim fair reporting privilege. […]

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Alex Jones
Attorney Mark Bankston questions Alex Jones on the stand during his trial.

Alex Jones Offers To Pay Newtown Families $55 Million Over School Shooting Hoax Conspiracy

The families, meanwhile, have filed their own proposal seeking to liquidate nearly all of Jones’ assets, including his media company Free Speech Systems.

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Alex Jones of Infowars talks to the media while visiting the U.S. Senate's Dirksen Senate office building on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S.

Sandy Hook Families Offer To Settle Alex Jones’ Legal Debt For a Minimum of $85 Million

In a legal filing, lawyers for the families said they believed the proposal was a viable way to help resolve the bankruptcy reorganization cases of both Jones and his company.

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Radio host Alex Jones of Infowars talks to the news media as he arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 5, 2018.

Alex Jones Can’t Use Bankruptcy to Avoid Paying Sandy Hook Families, Judge Rules

The decision is another significant defeat for Jones in the wake of juries punishing him over spreading falsehoods about the nation’s deadliest school shooting.

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Infowars host Alex Jones testifies during his defamation trial in Austin, Texas, Aug. 2, 2022

Alex Jones Files for Personal Bankruptcy, Owes $1.5 Billion in Sandy Hook Trial Damages

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones filed for personal bankruptcy Dec. 2, citing the $1.5 billion in damages he owes to nine families who lost their children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

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Connecticut Jury Awards Sandy Hook Plaintiffs $965 Million in Damages for a Decade of Harassment

Conspiracy theorist and Sandy Hook-denier Alex Jones owes $965 million in defamation and emotional distress damages to the families of eight Sandy Hook victims and an FBI agent, a Connecticut jury decided Wednesday. The ruling comes just weeks after Jones was ordered to pay nearly $50 million in damages to a pair of Sandy Hook parents in a separate trial in Texas in August. 

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Sandy Hook Families Demand Probe into Alex Jones-Owned Company’s Bankruptcy Filing

The motion, filed Aug. 25 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, says Jones has “systematically transferred millions of dollars” to himself and relatives, despite the company filing for bankruptcy to allegedly avoid paying damages to the families. In a response filed Aug. 28, Jones’ attorneys state that the families’ “motion is brimming with inaccuracies and allegations that have no basis in fact.”

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Infowars host Alex Jones testifies during his defamation trial in Austin, Texas, Aug. 2, 2022

What Does the Alex Jones Case Mean for the First Amendment and Disinformation? Leading Scholars, Lawyers Provide Analysis

First Amendment Watch asked notable and thoughtful media legal scholars to reveal what this outcome reveals and portends for other Sandy Hook families who filed defamation suits, another in Texas and the third in Connecticut, slated to start next month. Media and legal scholars George Freeman, Lyrissa Lidsky, Lynn Oberlander and Timothy Zick weigh in.

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Attorney Mark Bankston questions Alex Jones on the stand during his trial.

Jury: Alex Jones Owes Sandy Hook Couple $45.2 Million with Massive Punitive Damages Award

In a 10-day trial filled with bellicose theatrics, rebukes and grief, the jury in the Alex Jones defamation case decided Friday that Jones owes Sandy Hook parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis $45.2 million in punitive damages. 

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Radio host Alex Jones of Infowars talks to the news media as he arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 5, 2018.

Judge Fines Alex Jones for Failing to Appear for a Deposition in Sandy Hook Defamation Suit

On March 30th, a Connecticut judge found Infowars host Alex Jones in contempt of court for failing to appear for a deposition in a defamation suit brought by the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims. Jones has been sued by several families over his claims that the Sandy Hook shootings were a “giant hoax” and had been staged by the government to undermine the Second Amendment.

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Alex Jones Liable by Default in Sandy Hook Elementary Defamation Suit

On Monday, November 15th, a superior court judge in Connecticut ruled that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was liable by default in a defamation lawsuit. Judge Barbara Bellis issued the default judgement after years of Jones’ refusal to turn over financial and web analytics data that had been ordered by the court.

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Alex Jones of Infowars talks to the media while visiting the U.S. Senate's Dirksen Senate office building on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S.

Judge Issues Default Judgment In Alex Jones’ Sandy Hook Defamation Suits

A district court judge for Travis County, Texas issued a default judgment against Alex Jones for failing to comply with discovery requests in the defamation suits brought by two families in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. The shooting, which occurred on December 14, 2012, resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six adult school staff members. The rulings mean that the suits will proceed to trial to determine how much Jones and his media company, Infowars, will pay the parents for defamation and emotional stress.

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Alex Jones Deposition

Texas Supreme Court Says Defamation Suits Against Alex Jones Can Continue

On January 22nd, the Texas Supreme Court rejected conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ request to toss four defamation lawsuits filed by parents whose children died in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The suits claim that Jones' statements calling the mass shooting a “giant hoax,” and accusing the parents of faking their children’s death were defamatory and caused the families emotional distress.

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Texas Appeals Court Rejects Alex Jones’ Motion to Dismiss Heslin Defamation Suit

The judge has ordered Jones to pay Heslin $22,250 in attorney fees, making the total amount Jones now owes Neil Heslin just under $150,000.

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Radio host Alex Jones of Infowars talks to the news media as he arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 5, 2018.

Alex Jones Ordered To Pay $100,000 In Legal Fees In Defamation Lawsuit

On December 20th, a Texas district court judge ordered Alex Jones to pay more than $100,000 in legal fees in a defamation suit brought by the father of one of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. The defamation suit brought by Neil Heslin is one of several suits filed against Jones by the families who lost children in the school shooting on December 14, 2012.

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Alex Jones Sues Massachusetts Congressional Candidate For Defamation

Alex Jones is suing Massachusetts Congressional candidate Brianna Wu over a tweet he alleges defamed him. In a June 17 tweet, Wu suggests that Jones emailed child pornography to the parents of the children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting.

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InfoWars logo

InfoWars, Alex Jones and Others Sued For Defamation

For an in depth examination of Alex Jones and the Sandy Hook defamation lawsuits, click on the link below: Foreign Service Officer Brennan Gilmore, currently on leave from the State […]

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Devin Nunes

Federal Appeals Court Reinstates Devin Nunes’ Defamation by Implication Claim

Congressman Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) defamation lawsuit over an Esquire article about his family’s dairy farm was reinstated in part on September 15th by a three-judge panel of the Eighth  U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The panel reasoned that Nunes’ complaint stated a plausible defamation by implication claim that should survive a motion to dismiss.  

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Judge Dismisses Rep. Devin Nunes’ Libel Suit Against Political Strategist

On August 23, a Virginia judge dismissed Rep. Devin Nunes’ (CA-R)  $250 million dollar libel suit against Republican political strategist Elizabeth A. Mair. Nunes sued Mair in March 2019 for allegedly conspiring with his political enemies to spread false information about him before he ran for reelection in 2018.

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Devin Nunes Files Libel Suit Against MSNBC Host Rachel Maddow

On August 3rd, Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) filed a libel suit against NBCUniversal and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow over comments she made in March about his relationship with a Ukranian lawmaker and suspected Russian spy. Nunes is notorious for filing frivolous defamation lawsuits against his critics. In just a 12 month time period between— March 2019 and November 2020, the Congressman filed seven libel lawsuits.

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DOJ Under President Trump Attempted to Uncover Twitter Account Critical of Rep. Devin Nunes

On May 17th, court documents were unsealed showing that during the administration of former President Donald Trump, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued Twitter a grand jury subpoena requesting the company to unmask an account critical of U.S. Representative Devin Nunes. The DOJ sought to obtain the identity of the individual operating the account known as @NunesAlt.

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Lawyer Who Frequently Represents Devin Nunes is Sanctioned for Filing Frivolous Defamation Suit

On May 4th, a federal judge in Maryland sanctioned Representative Devin Nunes’s longtime attorney, Steve Biss, for filing a “frivolous” defamation lawsuit against CNN.

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Federal Judge Tosses Devin Nunes’ $435 Million Lawsuit Against CNN

The judge wrote that California Representative Devin Nunes failed to state adequate claims and to request a retraction before he filed his lawsuit against CNN.

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Federal Judge Dismisses Nunes’s $250 Million Defamation Suit Against The Washington Post

On December 24, 2020, a federal judge dismissed a $250 million defamation lawsuit against The Washington Post that was filed earlier in the year by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). The suit, filed on March 3, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, alleges that Nunes was defamed in a Post article that referred to a conversation Nunes had with President Donald Trump about an intelligence briefing.

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Judge Dismisses Majority of Nunes’ Family’s Defamation Claims Against Esquire Magazine

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.

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Federal Judge Dismisses Devin Nunes Against Ryan Lizza and Esquire Magazine

In his 48-page opinion, District Judge C.J. Williams ruled that none of the 11 allegedly defamatory statements were grounds for defamation. Some, such as Lizza’s claims that Nunes and his family were keeping a “secret,” Williams dismissed because they were too ambiguous to be actionable.

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Nunes

Federal Judge Moves Two Nunes Libel Suits From Virginia Dockets and Warns Lawyer Against Forum Shopping

"[T]he Court has significant concerns about forum shopping," U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia Judge Robert E. Paynes wrote. "As the Court has explained to Plaintiff's counsel on numerous occasions, the Court cannot stand as a willing repository for cases which have no real nexus to this district.”

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Nunes

Nunes Family’s Lawsuit Against Reporter Fails to Meet Defamation Standard, Judge Rules

After analyzing the sixteen allegedly defamatory statements, U.S. District Court Judge C.J. Williams found that the plaintiffs had neither identified what about them was false nor provided any facts that would have shown them to be false.

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Devin Nunes Tries to Unmask Cow Account, Raising Concerns over Anonymous Speech

In a new amicus brief, Public Citizen and the American Civil Liberties Union argue that Nunes cannot legally pursue the identity of the anonymous speaker without first proving he has a valid defamation claim. Without meeting this legal standard, they write, the court could threaten people's First Amendment right to anonymous speech.

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David Nunes

Devin Nunes Files $435 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against CNN

The California representative has filed three separate defamation lawsuits this year. In his third, Nunes claims that CNN published a “demonstrably false hit piece” about an alleged trip the congressman took to Austria to meet with an ex-Ukranian official.

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Devin Nunes Files Defamation Complaint against Reporter Ryan Lizza

The lawsuit argues that Lizza's widely read article, "Devin Nunes’s Family Farm is Hiding a Politically Explosive Secret," is a "legion of lies" and that Lizza published it with the specific intent to harm the congressman’s reputation.

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Devin Nunes

CA Rep. Devin Nunes Sues Twitter And Three Users for $250 Million Over Defamation, Negligence and Conspiracy

Nunes is accusing Twitter of “knowingly hosting and monetizing content that is clearly abusive, hateful and defamatory” to undermine the public’s confidence in him, thereby benefiting his political opponents.

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Trump Suing for Defamation
FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. President Trump holds rally in Florence, South Carolina

Trump’s Media Company Sues The Washington Post for Defamation, Requests $3.78B in Damages

Donald Trump’s media company which owns his Twitter-like platform, Truth Social, sued the Washington Post May 20 for $3.78 billion in damages, claiming a recently published article on the media company’s finances is defamatory.

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Trump Files $475 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against CNN

The complaint filed Oct. 3 stated, “CNN has sought to use its massive influence – purportedly as a ‘trusted’ news source – to defame the Plaintiff in the minds of its viewers and readers for the purpose of defeating him politically, culminating in CNN claiming credit for ‘[getting] Trump out’ in the 2020 presidential election.”

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The New York Times Building

Court Tosses Trump Campaign’s Defamation Suit Against the New York Times

The suit against the Times was part of a string of lawsuits the Trump campaign filed in 2020 against media companies. So far, two have been dismissed and one remains ongoing.

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Trump Settles Defamation Lawsuit Against Wisconsin TV Station

President Donald Trump's reelection campaign sued the local broadcast station in April for running an ad that made it seem like the President had called the coronavirus a hoax. The settlement does not include an apology from Trump, but one of the TV station's attorney framed it as a win for local news.

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Federal Judge Gives Trump Opportunity to Amend Complaint Against CNN

A federal judge in Atlanta is giving President Donald Trump’s lawyers the opportunity to submit an amended complaint in its libel lawsuit against CNN. Filed in March 2020, the President’s lawsuit alleged that CNN columnist Larry Noble had defamed him in a June 2019 opinion piece when he wrote that “The Trump campaign assessed the potential risks and benefits of again seeking Russia's help in 2020 and has decided to leave that option on the table.”

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Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Threaten to Sue Lincoln Project Over Times Square Billboards

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.

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Trump Coronavirus

Trump Sues Wisconsin TV Station For Airing Democratic Super PAC Ad

Filed on April 13th in Price County Wisconsin Circuit Court, the lawsuit claims that the TV ad spliced together two video clips from separate campaign events to make it appear as if the president has said the phrase “The coronavirus, this is their new hoax.”

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President Trump’s Re-Election Campaign Sues The New York Times Over an Opinion Piece

Filed in New York's Supreme Court, the suit alleges that the newspaper knowingly published false information about his campaign's ties to Russia. He is represented by lawyer Charles J. Harder, who is known for successfully defending Hulk Hogan against Gawker Media.

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Donald Trump

President Trump’s Plans for Libel Laws

President Trump and his team want to ‘open up’ libel laws. The goal: to make it easier to sue media organizations for unfavorable coverage. But there is little that the President can actually do to change the libel laws. There is no federal law on libel. State laws control libel, and all such laws are subject to stringent First Amendment protections for the press and other speakers that the Supreme Court has imposed through cases such as the landmark New York Times v. Sullivan decision in 1964. However, threats to loosen the libel laws is noteworthy as part of a larger effort to criticize the press and attack its credibility.

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Trump Sued for Defamation

Former Celebrity Apprentice Contestant Settles Long-Running Defamation Suit Against Trump

On November 12th, Summer Zervos, a former “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant, settled her defamation suit against Donald Trump. Zervos sued Trump just days before he took office in 2016 after he called her a liar when she accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in 2007.  For the majority of Trump’s term in office, the lawsuit was stalled by a debate over whether the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution barred state courts from interfering with a sitting president’s official duties.

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Trump Coronavirus

Former President Trump Sued for Defamation Over Calling COVID-19 the “Chinese Virus”

On May 20th, Chinese Americans Civil Rights Coalition, a nonprofit organization, filed a defamation lawsuit against former President Trump both in his former official capacity and as a private citizen for his comments about COVID-19. The complaint includes a list of Trump’s allegedly defamatory statements, including tweets and campaign speeches in which Trump referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus,” “China virus,” “China plague,” and “kung flu.”

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Summer Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice, leaves New York State Supreme Court with attorney Gloria Allred (not pictured) after a hearing on the defamation case against U.S. President Donald Trump in Manhattan, New York City.

Summer Zervos’ Defamation Suit Against Trump Moves Forward

The New York Court of Appeals has ruled that Summer Zervos’ lawsuit against former President Donald Trump can continue now that Trump is no longer in office. The former "Apprentice" star is suing Trump after he publicly denied her accusations of sexual assault.

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Former Cybersecurity Official Christopher Krebs Sues Trump Campaign for Defamation

Christopher Krebs, the former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), who was fired by President Donald Trump last month, is suing Trump, Trump lawyer Joseph diGenova, and Newsmax Media for defamation and the infliction of emotional distress.

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Ninth Circuit Upholds Dismissal of Stormy Daniels Defamation Claim Against Trump

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.

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Summer Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice, leaves New York State Supreme Court with attorney Gloria Allred (not pictured) after a hearing on the defamation case against U.S. President Donald Trump in Manhattan, New York City.

President Trump’s Bid To Block Defamation Lawsuit By Zervos Rejected Again

A New York appellate court has rejected President Trump’s attempt to block a defamation lawsuit brought by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos, ruling that suit can move forward while he […]

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Summer Zervos and Gloria Allred

Judge Rules Defamation Suit Brought By An Ex-Apprentice Against President Trump Is A Go

The State Court of Appeals refused Trump’s appeal to delay a defamation suit until after his presidency because the lower court has yet to issue a final determination on the […]

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Defamation: E. Jean Carroll v. Trump

Donald Trump Is on the Hook for $88.3 Million in Defamation Damages. What Happens Next?

For years, Donald Trump hurled insults at E. Jean Carroll, saying she fabricated a sexual assault allegation against him to sell a book. Will he keep that up?

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E. Jean Carroll walks outside Manhattan Federal Court, in New York City

Jury Says Trump Must Pay Additional $83.3 Million to E. Jean Carroll in Defamation Case

Former advice columnist E. Jean Carroll says former President Donald Trump damaged her reputation by calling her a liar after she accused him of sexual assault.

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E. Jean Carroll enters Manhattan Federal Court, for jury selection in the second civil trial after she accused former U.S. President Donald Trump of raping her decades ago, in New York City

Trump Scowls as Jury Is Picked To Decide How Much He Owes for Denying Sex Assault

This is the penalty phase of a civil defamation trial stemming from columnist E. Jean Carroll’s claims he sexually attacked her in a department store dressing room.

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E. Jean Carroll at Manhattan federal court in New York

Trump Found Liable Once Again for Defaming E. Jean Carroll

Four months after a jury found that Donald Trump sexually abused and defamed advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, a federal judge ruled Wednesday that still more of the ex-president’s comments about her were libelous. The decision means that an upcoming second civil trial will concern only how much more he has to pay her.

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Jury Finds Trump Liable for Sexual Abuse and Defamation in E. Jean Carroll Trial; Awards $5M in Damages

A jury of six men and three women unanimously found Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll and awarded her $5 million in damages. 

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E. Jean Carroll

E. Jean Carroll’s Defamation and Battery Lawsuit Against Trump Begins in Manhattan

The trial of former Elle Magazine advice columnist E. Jean Carroll’s defamation and battery lawsuit against Donald Trump began today with jury selection, nearly 30 years after the former president allegedly raped her in a midtown Manhattan department store dressing room.

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Carroll

Timeline: E. Jean Carroll v. Donald Trump and the Defamation Legal Battle

E. Jean Carroll sued former President Donald Trump for defamation in 2019 due to statements he made about her while publicly denouncing her sexual assault allegations against him. The jury has awarded her $88.3 million.

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Carroll

Biden Justice Department Says It Plans to Defend Trump in Sexual Assault Libel Suit

Trump is being sued by former Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll for denying that he raped her in a department store changing room in the 1990s. The Biden administration’s decision to continue supporting this case does not bode well for Carroll. Federal officials are typically given broad protections from civil lawsuits. 

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E. Jean Carroll

Federal Judge Denies Trump’s Request for DOJ to Intervene in Defamation Suit

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.

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E. Jean Carroll

E. Jean Carroll’s Lawyers Push Back on DOJ’s Efforts to Intervene in Trump Suit

“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.” 

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Trump

DOJ Looks to Take Over Trump’s Defense in E. Jean Carroll Defamation Lawsuit

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. 

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Judge Says Trump Can’t Dismiss E. Jean Carroll’s Defamation Suit

In her ruling, Justice Doris Ling-Cohan said that the president failed to submit any evidence in support of his request to dismiss Carroll's defamation lawsuit, writing “There is not even a tweet, much less an affidavit by defendant Trump in support of his motion."

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Trump Asks Judge to Dismiss E. Jean Carroll’s Defamation Lawsuit

The lawyers argued in a motion on Friday that the suit cannot go forward because the statements were made in Washington and the case was filed in New York.

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E. Jean Carroll Files a Defamation Suit Against Trump for Saying She Lied About Sexual Assault

“Decades ago, the now president of the United States raped me," said Carroll in a statement. "While I can no longer hold Donald Trump accountable for assaulting me more than 20 years ago, I can hold him accountable for lying about it and I fully intend to do so."

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Election Fraud
The corporate logo of Smartmatic is seen at its offices in Caracas

Fox News To Pursue Claims That Voting Firm’s Defamation Suit Is Anti-Free Speech

Smartmatic says Fox News spread ruinous lies that the voting company helped rig the 2020 election against then-U.S. President Donald Trump.

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Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani departs defamation lawsuit at the District Courthouse in Washington

Rudy Giuliani Files for Bankruptcy Days After $148 Million Defamation Order

Declaring bankruptcy likely will not erase the millions he was ordered to pay for making false statements about the election workers in Georgia.

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Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani departs defamation lawsuit at the District Courthouse in Washington

Rudy Giuliani Ordered to Pay $148 Million in Damages to Georgia Election Workers

Giuliani had already been found liable in the case and he had conceded in court documents that he falsely accused the two former Georgia election workers of fraud.

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Outside of the Fulton County Jail following the indictment of former U.S. President Trump

Jurors Seated in Election Workers’ Defamation Case Against Rudy Giuliani

The case is among many legal and financial woes mounting for the once-celebrated mayor, who became one of the most ardent promoters of Trump’s election lies.

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Legal Scholars Weigh In on the Lasting Significance of Dominion v. Fox

We asked five legal scholars — Samantha Barbas, Martin Garbus, Lyrissa Lidsky, Timothy Zick and Sandra Baron — to give their thoughts on Dominion Voting Systems' defamation lawsuit against Fox following the recent settlement reached in the case.

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Fox lawyers

Fox Settles for $787.5M, Acknowledges ‘Certain Claims About Dominion to be False’

Fox must pay $787.5 million in a last-minute settlement agreement reached April 18 in Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against Fox News and its parent corporation, marking the end of a highly anticipated trial before it even began.

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Delaware Judge Delays Dominion Defamation Suit Against Fox One Day

The trial in Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against Fox News and its parent corporation was slated to begin April 17, but has been delayed for one day to allow conversations about a possible settlement agreement, the Washington Post reported.

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Fox building

Fox Settles Defamation Suit with Venezuelan Businessman Over Fraudulent Election Claims

A settlement was reached April 8 in a defamation lawsuit filed by Venezuelan businessman Majed Khalil against Fox News and Lou Dobbs after the TV host claimed Khalil participated in a scheme to rig the 2020 presidential election.

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Fox News

Jury to Decide if Fox Knowingly Spread False Information About Dominion, Delaware Judge Rules

A jury will decide whether Fox News and its corporation knowingly spread lies about Dominion Voting Systems in the network’s broadcasts which alleged that the company’s voting technology was used to rig the 2020 presidential election, a Delaware Superior Court judge ruled March 31.

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Murdoch & Friends: Revelations from an Unsealed Dominion Filing in Suit Against Fox

The recently unsealed filing in Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against Fox includes revelations into internal conversations at the network, and its knowledge that Donald Trump’s claims of a fraudulent presidential election in 2020 were false, but aired them anyway. 

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Rupert Murdoch’s Deposition Unsealed in Dominion v. Fox Defamation Suit

"To this day, Rupert Murdoch and Fox refuse to apologize for or retract the lies Fox News broadcast about Dominion, even though he [Murdoch] admits that 'I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it in hindsight' and that Fox hosts 'endorsed' the 'false notion of a stolen election,'" Dominion's filing stated.

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Fox News

Fox News Hosts Didn’t Appear to Believe 2020 Election Fraud Claims, a Newly Released Filing Shows

Top Fox News executives and on-air personalities expressed concern over Donald Trump’s fraudulent election claims in 2020, but the network continued to air the falsities anyway, according to a brief made public Feb. 16 in Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against the network.

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Judge Rules that Smartmatic’s $2.7 Billion Defamation Suit Against Fox News Can Proceed

On March 9th, a New York Supreme Court judge ruled that voting technology company Smartmatic’s $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News and Rudy Giuliani can proceed. In his ruling, Judge David Cohen said that Giuliani repeatedly made claims “without any evidence” and “without any basis” that Smartmatic tried to tip the 2020 presidential election in Joe Biden’s favor.

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Smartmatic Sues MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell for Defamation

Smartmatic, a voting technology company, sued MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell for defamation on January 18th. The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, begins, “Crazy like a fox. Mike Lindell know exactly what he is doing, and it is dangerous.” 

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Judge Allows $1.6 Billion Defamation Suit Against Fox News to Proceed

On December 16th, a judge in the for the Superior Court of the State of Delaware denied Fox News’ request to have a $1.6 billion defamation suit filed against it by Dominion Voting Systems dismissed. In March 2021, Dominion sued Fox News for defamation, arguing that network hosts, including Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and others, spread false information that its company’s technology was used to rig the election in favor of Joe Biden.

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Pennsylvania Voting Official Sues Trump, Guiliani, and Others for Defamation

James Savage, a supervisor of a voting machine warehouse in the Philadelphia suburbs is Donald Trump, his two former attorneys Rudy Guiliani and Jenna Ellis, and two GOP poll watchers for defamation and civil conspiracy. The lawsuit, filed in Philadelphia county court, alleges that Gregory Stenstrom and Leah Hoopes, the two GOP poll watchers, falsely claimed that Savage altered the vote tabulation of the 2020 presidential election and gave Joe Biden 50,000 additional votes.

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Smartmatic Sues Two Conservative News Organizations for Defamation

On November 3rd, Smartmatic, an election technology company, sued One America News Network (OANN) and Newsmax for defamation over claims related to the 2020 presidential election. The lawsuits, filed against OANN in Washington D.C. and against Newsmax in Delaware, allege that the conservative news organizations aired dozens of reports accusing Smartmatic of participating in a conspiracy to rig the election against Donald Trump.

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Dominion Sues Two Conservative News Networks and a Trump Ally for Defamation

On August 10th, Dominion Voting Systems filed three separate $1.6 billion defamation suits against two conservative news networks and a Trump ally. The three suits are the latest in a series of billion dollar defamation lawsuits filed by Dominion related to alleged disinformation relating to the 2020 presidential election.

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Fox News Seeks Dismissal of $1.6 Billion Defamation Suit

On May 18th, Fox News filed a motion to dismiss the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed against it by Dominion Voting Systems, an election technology company used in more than two dozen states during the 2020 presidential election. 

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MyPillow CEO Sues Dominion Voting Systems for $1.6 Billion

On April 19th, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell filed a suit accusing Dominion Voting Systems of violating his First Amendment rights for filing a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against him. Lindell accuses Dominion of engaging in an “illegal campaign to punish and silence their critics.” 

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