In a rebuke to the political efforts of creepy porn lawyer Michael Avenatti, U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero has concluded that Ms. Stormy Daniels has failed to establish a prima facie case of defamation against President Trump and has dismissed the lawsuit. Additionally, Ms. Daniels is now required to pay President Trump’s attorney fees.
You can read the judge’s decision HERE
TEXAS – […] “The Court agrees with Mr. Trump’s argument because the tweet in question constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States,” states the opinion. “The First Amendment protects this type of rhetorical statement.”
The judge continues by defining “rhetorical hyperbole” as “extravagant exaggeration employed for rhetorical effect” and characterizes Trump’s tweet as displaying “an incredulous tone, suggesting that the content of his tweet was not meant to be understood as a literal statement about Plaintiff. Instead, Mr. Trump sought to use language to challenge Plaintiff’s account of her affair and the threat that she purportedly received in 2011. As the United States Supreme Court has held, a published statement that is ‘pointed, exaggerated, and heavily laden with emotional rhetoric and moral outrage’ cannot constitute a defamatory statement.”
Otero adds that Trump made a “one-off rhetorical comment, not a sustained attack on the veracity of Plaintiff’s claims” and that this distinguishes this suit from other cases where courts have seen enough to deem defamation from a public statement. The judge adds that Daniels’ assumption that Trump knew of the 2011 threat doesn’t establish facts adding up that he did, in fact, know about the threat. The judge ends up agreeing with Trump that Daniels hasn’t shown actual malice nor adequately pled damages.
Daniels won’t get the opportunity to amend her complaint to cure deficiencies, and what’s more under Texas’ anti-SLAPP statute, she now has to pay Trump’s legal costs — perhaps a rubbing of salt in the wound to those who contributed to Daniels’ legal defense fund. However, she does have a right to pursue an appeal. (read more)