Earlier this month, Stormy Daniels appeared on The View and unveiled a sketch which she says represents the person who approached her in a parking lot back in 2011 and threatened her. Daniels claims the man told her to “Leave Trump alone” and then looked at her infant daughter and added, “A beautiful little girl. It would be a shame if something happened to her mom.” Today, Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, announced a lawsuit against President Trump for defamation based on his tweet in response to the release of the sketch.
Moments ago, we filed this lawsuit against Mr. Trump for his recent irresponsible and defamatory statements about my client @stormydaniels. He is well aware of what transpired and his complicity. We fully intend on bringing it to light. #buckleup #bastahttps://t.co/ZuBjI1EY9z
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) April 30, 2018
The lawsuit claims that President Trump is guilty of defamation for a tweet in which he responded to the release of the sketch. Here’s the tweet in question:
A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)! https://t.co/9Is7mHBFda
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2018
And here’s the tweet Trump linked to. On the left is the sketch of the man Daniels claims threatened her. On the right is a photo of her with her (ex?) husband:
Here’s what the lawsuit says about Trump’s tweet:
Mr. Trump’s statement falsely attacks the veracity of Ms. Clifford’s account of the threatening incident that took place in 2011. It also operates to accuse Ms. Clifford of committing a crime under New York law, as well as the law of numerous other states, in that it effectively states that Ms. Clifford falsely accused an individual of committing a crime against her when no such crime occurred. Mr. Trump’s statement is false and defamatory. In making the statement, Mr. Trump used his national and international audience of millions of people to make a false factual statement to denigrate and attack Ms. Clifford.
It goes on to say that Trump may have actual knowledge of the threat against Daniels/Clifford.
Given the circumstances surrounding the threatening incident in 2011, namely that Ms. Clifford had not at the time gone public with her story and very few people knew of the possible In Touch story, it is reasonable to infer that the person who threatened Ms. Clifford could have only been acting directly or indirectly on behalf of Mr. Trump and/or Mr. Cohen. Thus, Mr. Trump may have actual knowledge of the incident and of the falsity of his statement.
The lawsuit further says Clifford was subjected to “death threats and other physical threats of violence” and is seeking damages of $75,000.
Last Friday, Daniels’ other lawsuit against Trump was put on hold for 90-days because of the current investigation of Trump attorney Michael Cohen. Daniels’ attorney said at the time that he was considering an appeal. Is the new lawsuit an attempt to keep Daniels in the limelight while the other case is on hiatus? I don’t know but I doubt $75,000 in damages is going to amount to much after attorney’s fees (and that’s assuming she wins). I’m not sure what the goal is here except to make Trump pay for the affair she claims they had nearly a decade ago. I guess any sign of defeat or retreat on Trump’s part would make a great ending for her inevitable book and book tour. That has to be the end game here, right?