The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed former President Donald Trump‘s victory in his legal dispute with porn star Stormy Daniels.
A federal court initially ruled that Daniels had to pay the former president $292,000 for his attorney’s fees after she sued Trump for defamation and lost. From what I understand, her lawyer, the disgraced criminal Michael Avenatti, filed the lawsuit without her permission.
In 2018, the Ninth Circuit has rejected Daniels’ libel suit against President Trump over his 2018 tweet calling her “a total con job.” They threw out the case after Trump’s lawyers argued that the president’s tweet was not made as a factual claim but as an opinion about another user’s post.
As I wrote back in August 2020:
The ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a 2018 ruling, throwing out the suit on the grounds that Trump’s comments amounted to an opinion, and opinions are protected by the First Amendment.
The court wrote in the original rejection:
“Viewed through the eyes of an objectively reasonable reader, the tweet here reflects Mr. Trump’s opinion about the implications of the allegedly similar appearances of Ms. Clifford’s ex-husband and the man in the sketch,” the court ruling said.
“Because the tweet juxtaposing the two images was displayed immediately below Mr. Trump’s tweet, the reader was provided with the information underlying the allegedly defamatory statement and was free to draw his or her own conclusions.”
Daniels also argued that Trump accused her of engaging in crime with the “con job” reference, but the court also rejected that allegation.
Trump gave a statement where he again denied any sexual relationship with Daniels. “As I have stated many times throughout the years, I never had an affair with Stormy Daniels, nor would I ever have wanted to,” Trump said. “The ruling was a total and complete victory and vindication for, and of me.”
Trump also called the lawsuit a “purely political stunt.”
“The lawsuit was a purely political stunt that never should have been started, or allowed to happen, and I am pleased that my lawyers were able to bring it to a successful conclusion after the court fully rejected her appeal,” Trump said. “Now all I have to do is wait for all of the money she owes me.”
“P.S. The Fake News probably won’t report this story,” Trump added.
President Donald J. Trump:
“The 9th Circuit just issued a final ruling in the Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels) frivolous lawsuit case against me brought by her disgraced lawyer, Michael Avenatti, upholding the lower court ruling that she owes me nearly $300,000 in.. pic.twitter.com/BPDpdkWEAT
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) March 22, 2022
Here’s the full statement: