You had a feeling this would eventually happen, and now it has.
President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign has sent CNN a letter promising legal action.
The letter comes from the president’s attorney for his re-election campaign, Charles Harder. In said letter, addressed to CNN president Jeff Zucker and CNN evp and general counsel David Vigilante, Harder notes recent videos from right-wing conspiracy theory group Project Veritas alleging to have a CNN “whistle-blower” discussing news coverage direction from Zucker.
“Your own employees appear to state that CNN is focused on trying to ‘take down President Trump,’ driven by a ‘personal vendetta’ that Mr. Zucker purportedly has against him, rather than reporting the news in an objective manner,” Harder writes in the letter. “In the Footage, your employees appear to state that CNN attempts to make its reporting appear neutral and unbiased, when in fact its reporting is far from neutral and highly biased against the President.”
Harder adds: “The aforementioned examples are merely the tip of the iceberg of the evidence my clients have accumulated over recent years. We also expect substantial additional information about CNN’s wrongful practices to become known in the coming days and weeks. Never in the history of this country has a President been the subject of such a sustained barrage of unfair, unfounded, unethical and unlawful attacks by so-called ‘mainstream’ news, as the current situation.”
Harder is claiming that CNN is violating the Lanham Act for making false statements about Trump to the public and advertisers.
“Accordingly, my clients intend to file legal action against you, to seek compensatory damages, treble damages, punitive damages, injunctive relief, reimbursement of legal costs, and all other available legal and equitable remedies, to the maximum extent permitted by law,” Harder writes.
The Lanham Act (also known as the Trademark Act of 1946) includes a provision about false advertising. However, the issue for the Trump campaign is that any lawsuit would most certainly bring a First Amendment rebuttal from CNN.
It’s also unknown whether Trump will actually follow through with the lawsuit, or if it’s just being used as an intimation tactic. Throughout his business career, Trump has been known for repeatedly threatening lawsuits against media outlets without actually following through.
TVNewser has reached out to CNN for comment on the Trump reelection campaign legal threat, and we’ll update this item once we receive a response.
*Update: “This is nothing more than a desperate PR stunt and doesn’t merit a response,” a CNN spokesman tells TVNewser.
— Michael Glassner (@michaelglassner) October 18, 2019