A federal judge in Los Angeles could soon toss the defamation lawsuit Stormy Daniels filed against President Trump earlier this year.
On Monday afternoon, U.S. District Judge S. James Otero said Trump’s tweet in response to Daniels’ claim that a mystery goon intimidated her in Las Vegas appeared to be “rhetorical hyperbole” and protected speech.
In April, Daniels and her attorney presented a forensic sketch of a man who allegedly warned her to “leave Trump alone” in 2011, soon after she spilled the story of her alleged romp with Trump to InTouch magazine.
Daniels sued Trump for defamation, claiming he was pegging her as a liar on Twitter.
“A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!” Trump wrote.
Judge Otero, who could issue a ruling in the coming days or weeks, said allowing Daniels’ defamation claim to continue would bring “a chilling effect for candidates running for office” and “hamper political discourse,” the New York Daily News reported.
After the hearing, Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti told reporters Trump’s First Amendment argument reeked of hypocrisy.
“This is the same Donald Trump that has crapped all over the First Amendment and the news media for years (and) wants to jail journalists,” Avenatti said. “The irony associated with that is absolutely palpable.”
Meanwhile, a hearing for Daniels’ lawsuit against Trump and his ex-attorney, Michael Cohen, over the infamous “hush agreement” is scheduled for December.