Trump Judge Tosses Trump’s “Big Lie” Defamation Suit Against CNN

Trump Judge Anuraag “Raag” Singhal ruled Friday that Trump’s 2022 defamation case against CNN couldn’t stand, and he granted the network’s motion to dismiss the case with prejudice. Singhal, who Trump appointed to the federal bench in 2019, said that the comments made on CNN didn’t meet the legal standard for defamation.

The judge wrote, “Trump complains that CNN described his election challenges as ‘the Big Lie.’ Trump argues that ‘the Big Lie’ is a phrase attributed to Joseph Goebbels and that CNN’s use of the phrase wrongly links Trump with the Hitler regime in the public eye. This is a stacking of inferences that cannot support a finding of falsehood.”

The lawsuit cited five examples of the use of the term “The Big Lie” or election lies that Trump’s attorneys say the network has refused to retract. They including a January 25, 2021, CNN opinion article by Ruth Ben-Ghiat; July 5 and September 15 pieces by Chris Cillizza; a January 16 reference to “the Big Lie” by Jake Tapper on State of the Union; and another Cillizza piece from February 11. But the lawsuit also takes issue with other moments on CNN when guests made the comparison to Trump and Hitler, including one made by Linda Ronstadt during an interview with Anderson Cooper in 2019.

Judge Singhal’s ruling contained numerous hints and insinuation that he would have preferred to reach a different conclusion.

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