Trump's attorney declares 'total victory' after Judge dismisses Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against the president

Michael Avenatti hardest hit? Today a judge dismissed Stormy Daniels’ defamation case against President Trump, granting Trump the right to seek payment of his attorney’s fees from her. The decision reads in part:

…Mr. Trump, as President, made a hyperbolic statement against a person who has sought to publicly present herself as a political adversary to him. In filings before this Court, Ms. Clifford has challenged the legitimacy of Mr. Trump’s victory in the 2016 Presidential election. Mr. Trump’s tweet served as a public rejoinder to allegations made by Plaintiff. If this Court were to prevent Mr. Trump from engaging in this type of “rhetorical hyperbole” against a political adversary, it would significantly hamper the office of the President. Any strongly-worded response by a president to another politician or public figure could constitute an action for defamation. This would deprive this country of the “discourse” common to the political process. In short, should Plaintiff publicly voice her opinions about Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump is entitled to publicly voice non-actionable opinions about Plaintiff. To allow Plaintiff to proceed with her defamation action would, in effect, permit Plaintiff to make public allegations against the President without giving him the opportunity to respond. Such a holding would violate the First Amendment.

But here’s the part of the decision that will really sting. The judge says Daniels has to pay Trump’s attorney fees:

Having granted the Special Motion and denied Plaintiff leave to amend, the Court finally holds that Defendant is entitled to attorney’s fees. Texas law is unambiguous that “the TCPA requires an award of ‘reasonable attorney’s fees’ to the successful movant.” Sullivan v. Abraham, 488 S.W.3d 294, 299 (Tex. 2016). “A ‘reasonable’ attorney’s fee ‘is one that is not excessive or extreme, but rather moderate or fair.'”

Trump’s attorney released a statement after the decision which says in part, “No amount of spin or commentary by Stormy Daniels or her lawyer, Mr. Avenatti can truthfully characterize today’s ruling in any way other than total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels.”

For his part, Avenatti has vowed to appeal:

The writing has been on the wall for this defamation case since last month when the judge suggested he was inclined to dismiss it. As I wrote back in April, this lawsuit was filed over this tweet:

I guess Stormy Daniels is the one on the hook for Trump’s legal fees. She can’t be too happy about that. It really has been a rough month for her attorney Michael Avenatti, as Ari Fleischer pointed out. First, his Kavanaugh accuser was considered a backfire by people in his own party and now this:

Here’s a Fox News report on the dismissal.