A federal judge on Monday dismissed Stormy Daniels’ case against President Donald Trump. According to the Washington Post, U.S. District Judge S. James Otero dismissed the defamation case against the president based on free speech grounds under the First Amendment.
Daniels sued Trump after he suggested in a tweet that her story of a man threatening her to not come forward about their alleged extra-marital affair was a lie. The president has denied Daniels accusations of an affair as well as threats. Back in April, Trump called Daniels story “a total con job.”
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
Several weeks ago federal judge Otero hinted that he would dismiss the case, suggesting that the tweet by President Trump was “rhetorical hyperbole.” In September, Otero also said of Trump’s tweet in a hearing, “This is the type of political discourse and commentary that takes place in elections all the time, and I’m troubled that there’s a claim here for defamation.
Michael Avenatti, the adult entertainer’s attorney, told the judge “Your honor, this was not political by any stretch of the imagination.” But Otero ruled that Trump’s tweet came under his First Amendment rights.
In a statement to CNN, Trump’s attorney Charles J. Harder said, “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.”
Otero also ruled that Daniels will have to pay the presidents attorney fees, according to the Washington Post.
Daniels can still appeal the judge’s dismissal, and her attorney said that is the next step. “We will appeal the dismissal of the defamation cause of action and are confident in a reversal,” Avenatti said.
As well, Daniels sued the president and his former attorney Michael Cohen for payments made to her to remain quiet about the alleged affair right before the 2016 election.