Lawyer Group Shelves Report Dubbing Him "Libel Bully"
An American Bar Association (ABA) committee issued a report concluding that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is a “libel bully,” but the ABA refused to publish it for fear Trump would sue.
The ABA’s media law committee that prepared the report balked when ABA leaders suggested editing the report to tone down the language that the lawyer trade group believed would spark a lawsuit from the unprecedentedly litigious presidential candidate, according to The New York Times, which first reported the story.
“Donald J. Trump Is a Libel Bully but Also a Libel Loser,” was the title of the shelved report, which the ABA suggested changing to “Presidential Election Demonstrates Need for Anti-SLAPP Laws.”
SLAPP is short for Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, a lawsuit designed to intimidate critics by draining their financial resources with costly legal proceedings.
The report analyzed seven free speech related lawsuits that Trump and his companies filed against publishers, unions, a network executive, a political pundit, an ex-Trump University student and a beauty pageant contestant. Trump lost four, withdrew two and got a default judgment against a former Miss Pennsylvania, the report found.
At his campaign rallies, Trump frequently demonizes members of the media, has suggested rewriting the nation’s libel laws to make it easier to file sue the press and most recently threatened to sue the 11 women who accused him of sexually abusing them.
Besides the seven cases examined in the shelved report, Trump has also filed more than 3,500 lawsuits throughout his career, which USA Today found was the most ever for a presidential nominee.