Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s lawyer is threatening to sue The Lincoln Project for billboards the Republican group installed in Times Square that feature the two White House senior advisers smiling alongside body bags and figures that reflect a staggering coronavirus death toll.
“I am writing concerning the false, malicious and defamatory ads that the Lincoln Project is displaying on billboards in Times Square,” Marc Kasowitz — a longtime outside counsel for President Donald Trump from the New York-based law firm Kasowitz, Benson & Torres, wrote in a letter to the Lincoln Project.
“If these billboards are not immediately removed, we will sue you for what will doubtless be enormous compensatory and punitive damages,” he added.
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) October 24, 2020
Kasowitz decried the billboard which featured Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, smiling and appearing to gesture in the direction of figures that showed over 33,000 New Yorkers and 221,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. In a second accompanying billboard, Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, is positioned next to body bags with the quote “[New Yorkers] are going to suffer and that’s their problem.” The Kushner quote originated in Vanity Fair.
The letter comes as the the nation reached a new record high in the number of new cases reported in a single day on Thursday — 77,000 — which it broke a day later with 83,000 new cases according to data compiled by John Hopkins University. Earlier this week, Dr. Jay Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned of a “distressing trend” as coronavirus cases are “increasing in nearly 75 percent of the country.”
The founders of The Lincoln Project have long been dedicated to electing Republicans, and the group has been a prominent critic of the Trump administration’s bungled response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which President Trump again falsely said during the final presidential debate in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday was “going away.”
“It will go away and as I say, we’re rounding the turn, we’re rounding the corner. It’s going away,” Trump claimed on Thursday.
In a statement late Friday responding to the threat of legal action, The Lincoln Project declined to remove the billboards and accused the couple of “indifference” to the immense loss of life caused by what they described as mismanagement COVID-19 crisis.
“The level of indignant outrage Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have shown towards The Lincoln Project for exposing their indifference for the more than 223,000 people who have lost their lives due to their reckless mismanagement of COVID-19 is comical,” The Lincoln Project wrote.
“We consider it important that in Times Square the crossroads of the world, people are continuously reminded of the cruelty, audacity and staggering lack of empathy the Trumps and the Kushners have displayed towards the American people,” the group added.
Correction: This post originally misstated that The Lincoln Project, as an organization (rather than the group’s founders), has been dedicated to electing Republicans. We regret the error.