Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. filed a libel lawsuit against the New York Times over its alleged false reporting on the Russia collusion hoax. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the New York State Supreme Court, aims to hold the New York Times accountable for intentionally publishing false information as fact, according to the Trump campaign.
“Today the President’s re-election campaign filed suit against the New York Times for falsely stating the campaign had an ‘overarching deal’ with ‘Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy’ to ‘help the campaign against Hillary Clinton’ in exchange for ‘a new pro-Russian foreign policy, starting with relief from … economic sanctions.’ The statements were and are 100 percent false and defamatory,” said Jenna Ellis, a senior legal adviser to Trump’s re-election campaign.
According to Ellis, the complaint alleges the New York Times was aware of the false statements at the time of publication and did so with the intention of hurting Trump’s re-election campaign and misleading readers in the process.
The article prompting the lawsuit is titled “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo,” written by Max Frankel, the New York Times’ former executive editor.
In a draft of the lawsuit, the Trump campaign refers to Frankel’s article as the “Defamatory Article” and explains the consequences of its publication.
The Defamatory Article does not allege or refer to any proof of its claims of a “quid pro quo” or “deal” between the Campaign and Russia. Rather, the Defamatory Article selectively refers to previously-reported contacts between a Russian lawyer and persons connected with the Campaign. The Defamatory Article, however, insinuates that these contacts must have resulted in a quid pro quo or a deal, and the Defamatory Article does not acknowledge that, in fact, there had been extensive reporting, including in The Times, that the meetings and contacts that the Defamatory Article refers to did not result in any quid pro quo or deal between the Campaign and Russia, or anyone connected with either of them.
The lawsuit also alleges the New York Times decided to publish Frankel’s article prior to the release of the Mueller report, knowing the report would likely exonerate Trump and his campaign from collusion allegations.
“On information and belief, The Times decided to publish the Defamatory Article when it did, in advance of the Mueller Report, knowing that the Mueller Report was likely to exonerate the Campaign from allegations of collusion with Russia regarding the 2016 election,” the lawsuit reads.