As he has so often done over the course of his life and business career, Donald Trump read something in a newspaper, didn’t like what it said, and decided to file a lawsuit he has no conceivable chance of winning.
“In the op-ed in question, headlined “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo,” author Max Frankel asserts in part that Trump’s 2016 campaign had an ‘overarching deal’ with Russian President ‘Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy’ in order to ‘help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton,’ in exchange for ‘a new pro-Russian foreign policy, starting with relief from the Obama administration’s burdensome economic sanctions.'”
That, according to Trump and his attorneys, is libel, even though the article was clearly marked as an opinion piece and many facts from the Russia investigation have proven that the Times was absolutely right.
Attorney David Lurie, however, thinks Trump may have made a gigantic mistake by filing the lawsuit, and not just because the case will likely get laughed out of court, especially if the Times decides to move forward and not seek to have the suit dismissed.
In an article for The Daily Beast, Lurie writes:
“Since truth is a defense, if the Trump campaign’s case against Trump was to go forward to the discovery stage, the Times would inevitably seek to obtain evidence regarding whether Trump and his campaign did in fact enter into a quid pro quo arrangement with Putin. Furthermore, Trump himself would also certainly be a key witness, and would be called upon to provide testimony and documents.”
Imagine the opportunity to depose Trump under oath and ask about his connections to Russia! One lie and he’d be on the hook for perjury. And as we’ve learned over the years, Trump cannot go more than five seconds without lying. Lying is embedded in his DNA.
Lurie concludes his article by urging the Times to do exactly that: Move ahead and start discovery, just to put Trump on the spot and watch how quickly he scurries away with his tail between his legs:
“If the Times employs that strategy, it will be difficult for Trump to maintain that the Constitution prohibits him from being required to testify. After all, the campaign, a corporation Trump controls, chose to bring the case, necessarily recognizing that its principal would have to be made available to provide evidence.”
Donald Trump is a very litigious person. And history shows he usually loses when he files suit against those he feels have wronged him. But this time, one of his lawsuits could come back to bite him in the ass in a way he clearly hasn’t anticipated.