A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit brought by President Donald Trump’s campaign over an opinion piece by CNN that claimed the campaign was open to receiving Russian assistance in the election.
The campaign filed suits in February and March regarding a series of opinion columns in The Washington Post, CNN, and The New York Times, about Russian election interference. The suits against The Washington Post and The New York Times are still pending.
In the CNN case, the campaign took issue with a column by Larry Noble, a former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission. Noble wrote about a Trump interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on June 12, 2019.
In seeking to dismiss the complaint, CNN argued that Noble was giving his opinion based on the public record, not making a factual assertion. Brown rejected that argument, finding that Noble’s statement constituted a factual claim.
“The tweet might show Mr. Noble’s ill will towards the President, but it fails to plead actual malice in the constitutional sense — that is, it does not show Mr. Noble made the Statement with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false,” Brown wrote.