New York Times Lawyer “Pwns” Donald Trump’s Lawyer

I will let the letter speak for itself.  Be assured, this is authentic.  This is the letter that the lawyer for the New York Times has just sent to the Trump lawyer who demanded that the Times retract a story.

Dear Mr. Kasowitz:

I write in response to your letter of October 12, 2016 to Dean Baquet concerning your client Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for President of the United States. You write concerning our article “Two Women Say Donald Trump Touched Them Inappropriately” and label the article as “libel per se.” You ask that we “remove it from [our] website, and issue a full and immediate retraction and apology.” We decline to do so.

The essence of a libel claim, of course, is the protection of one’s reputation. Mr. Trump has bragged about this non-consensual sexual touching of women. He has bragged about intruding on beauty pageant contestants in their dressing rooms. He acquiesced to a radio host’s request to discuss Mr. Trump’s own daughter as a “piece of ass.” Multiple women not mentioned in our article have publicly come forward to report on Mr. Trump’s unwanted advances. Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself.

But there is a larger and much more important point here. The women quoted in our story spoke out on an issue of national importance – indeed, as an issue that Mr. Trump himself discussed with the whole nation watching during Sunday night’s presidential debate. Our reporters diligently worked to confirm the women’s accounts. They provided readers with Mr. Trump’s response, including his forceful denial of the women’s reports. It would have been a disservice not just to our readers but to democracy itself to silence their voices. We did what the law allows: We published newsworthy information about a subject of deep public concern. If Mr. Trump disagrees, if he believes that American citizens had no right to hear what these women had to say and that the law of this country forces us and those who would dare to criticize him to stand silent or be punished, we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight.


David E. McCraw

Politico article with full text:
Afternote:  Remember that the Supreme Court ruled in the 1964 case New York Times v. Sullivan that a public figure can only get damages for libel from a press outlet if the public figure is able to show that the press outlet acted with either malice or reckless disregard for the truth.  And it goes without saying that this Times story in question was gone over by staff lawyers before a word of it saw the light of day.

You may also recall that last spring Trump said in a speech that he would like to see it made easier to sue newspapers for libel.  Many interpreted that as yet another sign of his fascist inclinations.

The madness never stops.


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