Donald Trump’s presidential reelection campaign is suing the New York Times for libel over a 2019 op-ed by former Times executive editor Max Frankel headlined, “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo.”
The lawsuit, published on the Trump campaign website, alleges the Times “knowingly published false and defamatory statements” when the op-ed said Trump had an “overarching deal” with Putin.
A Times spokesperson told iMediaEthics, “The Trump Campaign has turned to the courts to try to punish an opinion writer for having an opinion they find unacceptable. Fortunately, the law protects the right of Americans to express their judgments and conclusions, especially about events of public importance. We look forward to vindicating that right in this case.”
iMediaEthics has contacted the Trump campaign’s attorney, Charles Harder.
The op-ed said in part:
“There was no need for detailed electoral collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy because they had an overarching deal: the quid of help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton for the quo of a new pro-Russian foreign policy, starting with relief from the Obama administration’s burdensome economic sanctions. The Trumpites knew about the quid and held out the prospect of the quo.”
The lawsuit alleges the Times “engaged in a systematic pattern of bias against the Campaign, designed to maliciously interfere with and damage its reputation and seek to cause the organization to fail.”
Regarding the op-ed, the lawsuit argues the article was false and pointed to the Robert Mueller report.
“The Times was well aware when it published these statements that they were not true,” the lawsuit reads. “The Times‘ own previous reporting had confirmed the falsity of these statements. But The Times published these statements anyway, knowing them to be false, and knowing it would misinform and mislead its own readers, because of The Times’ extreme bias against and animosity toward the Campaign, and The Times’ exuberance to improperly influence the presidential election in November 2020.”
Read the lawsuit in full.
Hat Tip: CNBC