On Monday, 45th President Donald Trump announced he will be suing CNN for at least $475 million in damages over defamation claims. The suit claims that the network used defamatory language as part of a “concerted effort to tilt the political balance to the Left.”
The complaint continues, “CNN has tried to taint the Plaintiff with a series of ever-more scandalous, false, and defamatory labels of ‘racist,’ ‘Russian lackey,’ ‘insurrectionist,’ and ultimately ‘Hitler'”
It alleged CNN has used language like “Trump’s big lie” — referring to his claims that the 2020 election was stolen — “with reckless disregard for their truth or falsity, thereby acting with actual malice,” citing the legal standard for libel cases in the U.S.
The big picture: Defamation suits have become more common as high-power figures look to challenge the media’s first amendment power.
Trump himself is currently trying to delay proceedings in a defamation lawsuit filed against him by E. Jean Carroll, an author who has alleged he raped her in the mid-1990s.
Yes, but: A slew of recent precedents show how hard defamation can be to prove when it comes to media outlets in the U.S.
If successful, not only would Trump’s lawsuit make a startling legal impact, but it also will be a major victory for Trump and his movement.