A judge decided to dismiss Stormy Daniels’s defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump Monday and told her she had to pay back Trump’s legal fees.
The lawsuit was originally filed in New York federal court earlier this year. Daniels said that Trump acted with “actual malice” and “reckless disregard for the truth” when he posted a tweet making fun of her claim that she was threatened by an unknown man to stay quiet about her alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump. He tweeted that the sketch was of a non-existent man a total con job. The lawsuit was later transferred to federal court in California.
During an April appearance on “The View,” Daniels and her attorney Michael Avenatti released a sketch of the man she alleges menaced her and her toddler in 2011 in a Las Vegas parking lot after she agreed to be interviewed by In Touch magazine about her alleged affair with Trump.
The magazine didn’t publish the interview until January 2018 after the Wall Street Journal published the initial accounts of a non-disclosure agreement signed weeks before the 2016 election.
U.S. District Judge S. James Otero said that Trump’s tweet about Daniels “constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States.”
“Any strongly-worded response by a president to another politician or public figure could constitute an action for defamation,” Otero explained. “This would deprive the country of the ‘discourse’ common to the political process.”
Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder, said the ruling was a total victory for the president and a total defeat for Daniels.
Avenatti immediately filed a notice of an intention to appeal the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.