A federal judge dismissed Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against Donald Trump Monday, nearly six months after the porn star sued the president for tweeting that Daniels’ allegation of being threatened was “a total con job.”
“The Court agrees with Mr. Trump’s argument because the tweet in question constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States,” District Judge S. James Otero wrote in his opinion dismissing the suit (via CNN). “The First Amendment protects this type of rhetorical statement.”
Daniels and her lawyer Michael Avenatti previously argued that Trump’s tweet was “false and defamatory, and that the tweet was defamation … because it charged her with committing a serious crime.”
In addition to dismissing the defamation lawsuit, Otero ordered Daniels to pay Trump’s legal fees related to the case.
Trump’s attorney Charles J. Harder said in a statement following the dismissal, “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. The amount of the award for President Trump’s attorneys’ fees will be determined at a later date.”
Daniels still has a pending lawsuit against Trump and his former personal attorney Michael Cohen related to the non-disclosure agreement she signed in 2016.
“Daniels’ other claims against Trump and Cohen proceed unaffected,” Avenatti tweeted Monday after the defamation suit’s dismissal. “Trump’s contrary claims are as deceptive as his claims about the inauguration attendance. We will appeal the dismissal of the defamation cause of action and are confident in a reversal.”