Lawyers for President Trump and his reelection campaign put CNN on notice in a letter earlier this week informing the network of its intention to sue the news outlet for what is essentially unflattering coverage of the President.
Citing videos created by Project Veritas, the conservative conspiracy group run by James O’Keefe, Attorney Charles Harder argued that CNN violated a law that prevents entities from misrepresenting themselves to the public and advertisers. In the letter, Harder lists out the pillars of the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics, as well as ethical rules specific to CNN, claiming CNN’s reporting on Trump is “contrary to your own mission.”
Harder then lists out several key quotes from the O’Keefe video, which purport to include an interview with CNN employees who claim that CNN President Jeff Zucker has a “personal vendetta” against Trump and that the network wants to “take down President Trump.” Another alleged employee is quoted in the video saying that Zucker only allows CNN to cover “impeachment every single day” and that “our Democratic interviews are like softballs, compared to Republicans.”
“Never in the history of this country has a president been the subject of such a sustained barrage of unfair, unfounded, unethical and unlawful attacks by so-called ‘mainstream’ news, as the current situation,” Harder wrote, before declaring his client’s intent to sue the network for violating the Lanham Act, “among other applicable laws.”
— Michael Glassner (@michaelglassner) October 18, 2019
O’Keefe responded to news of the impending lawsuit on Twitter by advertising “another tape coming” soon.
“This one’s a doozy,” he said.
O’Keefe’s gained notoriety for publishing undercover videos that are usually intended to damage the media or left-leaning groups, typically garnering fruitless results. Most notably, O’Keefe was tied to a woman who attempted to convince the Washington Post that she had credible allegations against then-Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. That endeavor backfired. The allegations were ultimately exposed as fake and the Post was praised for walking away from a source whose story the paper couldn’t corroborate.
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) October 18, 2019