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Judge dismisses Stormy Daniels' defamation suit against Trump, orders her to pay president's legal f

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Judge dismisses Stormy Daniels' defamation suit against Trump, orders her to pay president's legal fees



A federal judge on Monday dismissed the defamation lawsuit that Stormy Daniels filed against President Trump, saying his tweet attacking the porn star’s credibility was free speech protected by the Constitution.


“If this court were to prevent Mr. Trump from engaging in this type of ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ against a political adversary, it would significantly hamper the office of the president,” Judge S. James Otero of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles wrote in a 14-page ruling. “Any strongly-worded response by a president to another politician or public figure could constitute an action for defamation. This would deprive the country of the ‘discourse’ common to the political process.”


Otero’s ruling was a rare win for Trump in a seven-month legal battle with the adult film actress who says she had a one-night stand with him in 2006, a few months after his wife, Melania, gave birth to their son, Barron.


Otero ordered Daniels to pay Trump’s legal fees for his defense in the suit. The amount of the fees has not yet been determined, Trump lawyer Charles J. Harder said.


“No amount of spin or commentary by Stormy Daniels or her lawyer … can truthfully characterize today’s ruling in any way other than total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels,” Harder said.


The dismissal of the defamation case has no bearing on Daniels’ continuing legal fight to void the nondisclosure pact that bars her from speaking publicly about her alleged affair with Trump.


Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“There is something really rich in Trump relying on the 1st Amendment to justify defaming a woman,” Avenatti said by email.


Trump’s April 18 tweet came after Avenatti made public a sketch of a man whom Daniels said had threatened her in 2011 if she spoke publicly about her alleged affair with Trump. The president has denied having sex with her.


Daniels, 39, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, says the man walked up to her and her baby daughter in a Las Vegas parking lot and said it would be a shame “if something happened to her mom.” He told her to forget about Trump, Daniels said.


“A sketch years later about a nonexistent man,” Trump tweeted. “A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!”




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