Trump’s attorneys filed a new lawsuit on Monday claiming that CNN has been using its influence to defame the Plaintiff. This is being done so that Trump can be defeated politically and CNN can be credited for that success.
The former President is asking for $475 million in punitive damages.
The lawsuit doesn’t come as a surprise as Trump had said earlier this summer that he intended on suing CNN. In the relevant statement, he had said he would take action against those media outlets who defamed him throughout the 2020 election.
In the filing Trump’s attorneys are saying that CNN “has undertaken a smear campaign to malign the Plaintiff with a barrage of negative associations and innuendos, broadcasting commentary that he is like a cult leader, a Russian lackey, a dog whistler to white supremacists, and a racist.”
Specific anchors and personalities are also mentioned explicitly in the lawsuit. The use of the term “Big Lie” which refers to the false allegations made by Trump about widespread voter fraud and the election being stolen has also been mentioned in the lawsuit.
For defamation to be proven the attorneys will need to show that there was malice or a complete disregard for the truth. The First Amendment normally provides the free press its rights under the constitution.
CNN is a frequent foil of Trump, his followers, and allies, as well as conservatives more generally.
Trump had previously sued the New York Times in 2019 because of their op=ed which suggested a “quid pro quo” with Russian officials.