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Trump’s Attorney Retracts Lawsuit Threat Against The New York Times for ‘Hit’ Piece


shutterstock_412135477Almost immediately after The New York Times published a front page article headlined, Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in PrivateTrump fired back. The article, which examined Trump’s treatment of women in private, came under scrutiny after one of the women featured said that her words were taken out of context.  Now Trump is going a step further, claiming that the article was “false, malicious & libelous.” Sounds like legal fighting words!

Trump’s attorney, Jill Martin, didn’t rule out a lawsuit either, telling CNN: ‘I think that is a distinct possibility. I haven’t talked to him about it personally, but, you know, when he’s attacked like that and things are said falsely, he’s definitely fires back.”

So would Trump have any kind of case? Probably not.

“It’s doubtful that Donald Trump could successfully sue the New York Times over its recent article critical of his treatment of women because he is clearly a ‘public figure.’  As such, he would have to show that the Times acted with knowledge that the article was false, or with reckless disregard of the truth – a very difficult standard for anyone to meet,” George Washington University School of Law Professor John Banzhaf told

And it looks like Trump’s legal team recognized it would be a pretty tough case. Trump’s general counsel, Michael Cohen, appeared on CNN this morning, and walked back the whole lawsuit thing.

“It’s a very high bar … I don’t this is going to end up in litigation,” Cohen said. “The truth is that The New York Times owes both Ms. Brewer and they owe Donald Trump an apology and they need to do a retraction and they need to actually be fair because they’re destroying their paper.”

And the truth is a lawsuit over this issue would probably be a field day for journalists.

“Even Donald Trump, I would think, would not be foolhardy enough to bring this lawsuit. Imagine empowering the NYT, right now, with subpoena power to require under oath testimony from him and every woman he has ever touched or spoken to in a potentially offensive manner. Such favors are not often granted to journalists,” First Amendment attorney, Floyd Abrams, told Abrams is the father of our founder.

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Rachel Stockman is President of Law&Crime which includes Law&Crime Productions, Law&Crime Network and Under her watch, the company has grown from just a handful of people to a robust production company and network producing dozens of true crime shows a year in partnership with major networks. She also currently serves as Executive Producer of Court Cam, a hit show on A&E, and I Survived a Crime, a new crime show premiering on A&E this fall. She also oversees production of a new daily syndicated show Law&Crime Daily, which is produced in conjunction with Litton Entertainment. In addition to these shows, her network and production company produce programs for Facebook Watch, Cineflix and others. She has spent years covering courts and legal issues, and was named Atlanta Press Club's 'Rising Star' in 2014. Rachel graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and Yale Law School.