Federal Judge Tosses Trump’s $475M Defamation Suit

US Judge Raag Singhal dismissed a $475 million defamation case against CNN, filed by former president Donald Trump. The lawsuit claimed that the network’s reference to his allegations of election fraud as the “big lie” was akin to associating him with Adolf Hitler.

Singhal, nominated by Trump in 2019 and operated out of a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, near Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, ruled late on Friday. He stated that CNN’s descriptions were not factual but opinion-based, hence could not serve as the basis for a defamation case.

“Although CNN’s comments might be considered offensive, they are not legally defamatory,” Singhal explained in his ruling.

A spokesperson for Trump responded, saying, “We concur with the esteemed judge’s verdict that CNN’s remarks concerning President Trump are offensive. 

CNN will be held accountable for improperly treating President Trump and his followers.” However, the statement did not clarify if Trump planned to appeal the decision. 

The lawsuit against former President Trump was dismissed “with prejudice,” meaning he cannot file another one using the same allegations. 

The lawsuit, initiated in October 2022, pointed out five occasions when CNN reported or aired comments linking Trump’s 2020 election fraud allegations to his “big lie.”

The lawsuit claimed that CNN’s language was a “strategic attempt to cultivate an association between the plaintiff and one of the most detestable figures in contemporary history” in their audience’s minds. 

However, Singhal argued that merely using a “big lie” does not imply a true association. “No rational viewer should, or could, draw that connection,” he commented.

Since his initial presidential run in 2015, Trump has regularly criticized media outlets, with CNN being a frequent target. 

Trump, who is currently leading the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, faces both state and federal indictments.

A presidential debate is scheduled for August 23, and Trump has been unsure whether he will attend. He has said he may watch to see who would make the best Vice President.