Judge Dismisses Trump Campaign’s Libel Suit Against CNN

By Jason Lynch 

After unsuccessful efforts to upend the presidential election results in court, Donald Trump’s campaign was dealt another legal below Wednesday when a Georgia federal court judge dismissed a libel lawsuit that Trump brought against CNN earlier this year.

In March, Trump’s reelection campaign sued CNN for libel, objecting to a June 13, 2019 opinion piece by CNN contributor and former Federal Election Commission general counsel Larry Noble. In the story, Noble wrote that former special counsel Robert Mueller should have charged Trump for soliciting help from Russia in his 2016 election campaign, and said the campaign had also left open the possibility of seeking Russia’s help again in the 2020 election.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael L. Brown said that Trump hadn’t show actual malice on Noble’s part.

The dismissal was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, which wrote:

the case comes down to Trump’s failure as demonstrate knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard of the truth. He is, after all, a public figure, and while he has often called for libel laws to be relaxed, public figures still need to plead actual malice.

“Most of the allegations in the complaint regarding actual malice are conclusory,” writes the judge, also not accepting that an alleged record of anti-Trump bias on Noble’s part is sufficient.

CNN declined to comment to TVNewser about the dismissal.

Trump’s March lawsuit against CNN  had followed similar suits against The Washington Post and The New York Times. In October 2019, his reelection campaign sent CNN a letter threatening to sue the network for “highly biased coverage.”

Brown’s full opinion can be found here.