Facing a potential Justice Department investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack and other legal quicksand, Donald Trump has gone on the offensive against CNN’s old foe with a threat of a libel suit. .
“This letter serves as official notice of the misrepresentations regarding President Donald J. Trump (“President Trump”) in numerous articles and television transmissions published by Cable News Network, Inc. (“CNN”), including, but not limited to, those discussed below,” reads a July 21 missive that former POTUS DC attorneys at Ifrah Law, PLLC sent to CNN boss Chris Licht and executive vice president and general counsel David Vigilante. Specifically, the Kafkaesque correspondence focuses on the on-air and online use by CNN-branded talent and journalists of the term “Big Lie” in relation to Trump’s repeated claims that the 2020 election were stolen from him and the GOP.
“In this case, President Trump’s comments are not lies: he subjectively believes that the results of the 2020 presidential election triggered fraudulent voting activity in several key states,” the attorneys’ 282-page letter continues. with exhibits, using Webster’s dictionary definition of the word “lie” to make their legal point. “Disregarding President Trump’s sincere belief in his statements, CNN has published numerous articles calling him a ‘liar’ and purveyor of the ‘big lie,'” the letter states. (Read it here.)
For the past year and a half, Trump has continued to say he’s the winner of the 2020 presidential election, telling an audience as recently as Tuesday that he “won a second time.” (In its article on Trump’s speech in Washington, DC, CNN called the former president’s statement a “lie about the 2020 election.”) The ongoing Jan. 6 Committee hearings showed that even though Trump insisted he won the 2020 election, he was told his allegations of voter fraud were baseless.
Now, like anyone who paid attention to the old Celebrity Apprentice host before, during and after his reign in the White House, Donald Trump enjoys trying to intimidate critics, rivals and non-Rupert Murdoch media with legal action. Essentially, it’s an exercise in bloviation, and nothing ever comes of it. Which, as the 2022 midterms draw closer and the announcement of Trump’s planned third White House slot could come even sooner, could be the case here with this salvo against Warner-owned CNN. Bros. Discovery. Anyway, the clock is ticking to a certain extent.
“CNN shall publish a full and fair correction, apology or retraction, in the same editions or corresponding issues of the website publication in which the above-mentioned articles, transcripts or broadcasts appeared and in such conspicuous place and type as said original article, transcript or broadcast within ten (10) days from the date of service of this notice,” last week’s correspondence reads.
“Failure to post such correction, apology or retraction will result in the filing of a complaint and damages will be sought against youCNN.
CNN did not respond to requests from Deadline to comment on the nearly week-old letter.
However, unsurprisingly, after a dark, grievance-filled speech in DC yesterday at the America First Policy Institute, Trump had more to say about his lawyers’ letter.
“I have informed CNN of my intention to take legal action for their repeated defamatory statements against me,” the ex-president said in a statement today after the letter to CNN became public. “I will also take action against other media outlets that have defamed me and defrauded the public regarding the overwhelming evidence of fraud throughout the 2020 election,” he continued, possibly alluding to force Murdoch-owned Fox News into court. love him again. “I will never stop fighting for the truth and for the future of our country!”
Ted Johnson contributed to this report.