Trump Camp Goes After CNN Op-Ed In New Lawsuit Following Similar NYT And WaPo Suits

President Donald Trump gets into an exchange with CNN reporter Jim Acosta during a news conference on November 7, 2018 at the White House. (Photo by Al Drago - Pool/Getty Images)
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March 6, 2020 5:44 p.m.

The Trump campaign’s lawsuit spree against major media outlets continued Friday, with a third suit in 10 days alleging unfair coverage.

After suing The New York Times last week and The Washington Post on Tuesday — both over pieces from opinion writers — the President’s reelection organization sued CNN Friday in federal court in Georgia, alleging “a systematic pattern of bias against the Campaign.”

Like the other two Trump campaign suits, the action against CNN was signed by attorney Charles Harder, infamous for handling Terry Bollea’s (aka Hulk Holgan) suit against Gawker. Bollea’s suit was funded by the Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel and ended with the website’s bankruptcy.

CNN’s libel against the Trump campaign, the suit alleged, came from a a nine-month-old op-ed from Larry Noble, the law professor and former Federal Election Commission general counsel who’s a vocal critic of President Trump.

The article, “Soliciting dirt on your opponents from a foreign government is a crime. Mueller should have charged Trump campaign officials with it,” was “blatantly false” and “fabricated,” the campaign alleged.

Noble argued in the op-ed that Robert Mueller’s probe should have included pursuing charges against Trump campaign officials — including the President’s son — who solicited Russian assistance during the 2016 election.

After the probe failed to bring forth those charges, Noble wrote, “The Trump campaign assessed the potential risks and benefits of again seeking Russia’s help in 2020 and has decided to leave that option on the table.”

That line appeared to be a reference to an interview cited earlier in the op-ed, in which White House adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner said he didn’t know if he would inform the FBI, should he receive an offer of help from Russia in 2020.

Noble’s claim, the campaign alleged, “was made up out of whole cloth.” The suit asks for a jury trial and “millions of dollars” in damages.

A CNN spokesperson declined to comment on the suit, and Noble did not return a request for comment.

To bolster its claims of bias against CNN, the suit cited “Project Veritas,” the group founded by smear artist James O’Keefe and which is known for its undercover (and often heavily edited) video stings of journalists and liberal groups.

Last month, ABC suspended correspondent David Wright after a Project Veritas video showed him describing himself as a socialist and lightly criticizing the network’s political coverage as insubstantial.

In the CNN suit, the Trump campaign cited a Project Veritas video in which CNN employees complained about the network’s coverage of the Russia probe and the President’s impeachment trial, among other things.

“CNN clearly had a malicious motive in publishing the Defamatory Article, and acted with reckless disregard for the truth,” the lawsuit asserted.

Read the Trump campaign’s latest lawsuit below:

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