Politics

Lawsuit Filed Against Trump’s Twitter Account Dismissed

Can you sue for defamation if Donald Trump badmouths you on Twitter? If the answer was “yes,” damages of even pennies per tweet could bankrupt the President.

A court was forced to make a decision on the matter after Republican strategist Cheryl Jacobus accused Trump of sending a “virtual mob” to attack her after she questioned whether or not he was fit for office. In response, Trump called her a “real dummy,” a “major loser,” and claimed she once “begged” him for a job on his campaign.

The case was seeking $4 million in damages, with her lawyer stating before a judge that “Jacobus’ entire career was destroyed by those tweets.. (and) by those responses.” So, we’re supposed to believe that the media is blacklisting her over a Trump tweet? It certainly would be the first Trump tweet they took seriously, I guess.

The courts have taken a more sober approach. According to the Daily Caller,

A New York appeals court ruled that you cannot collect damages for defamation if President Donald Trump insults you over Twitter.

Jacobus was seeking $4 million in damages against Trump. Her lawyer, Jay Butterman, said Tuesday was “not a happy day for democracy”.

A five-judge panel reached the verdict Tuesday in Manhattan, agreeing with New York Judge Barbara Jaffe who defended Trump’s “intemperate tweets” as protected by the First Amendment, despite chastising them as intending to “belittle and demean.”

According to the court, Trump’s tweets were “too vague, subjective and lacking precise meaning” to qualify as defamatory and were thus protected speech. It’s a bit surprising that they even needed to provide such an explanation in their decision. The burden of proof was on Jacobus to prove damages, and she clearly failed to do that. 

There have been a number of attempts to take Donald Trump of Twitter, and while the platform’s management is overwhelmingly left-wing (as we’d expect from a company based in Silicon Valley), it’s unlikely they’ll ever do anything to harm Trump’s Twitter account. The network has long struggled with user growth, and having an active president with Trump’s celebrity on their platform has garnered an unprecedented amount of free publicity for the site.

According to one analyst estimate, $2 billion of Twitter’s $16.5 billion market value can be solely attributed to Donald Trump being active on the site.

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Matt

Matt is the co-founder of Unbiased America and a freelance writer specializing in economics and politics. He’s been published in The American Thinker, Rare, The Foundation for Economic Education, The Ludwig von Mises Institute, and National Review. He is the author of the new book A Paradoxical Alliance: Islam and the Left. Follow him on Twitter at @MattPalumbo12.

View Comments

  • Her lawyer, Jay Butterman, said Tuesday was “not a happy day for democracy”.

    Note to idiot lawyer: We have a Republic, not a Democracy.

    Big difference

  • Hope he did destroy her career or whatever she wants to call it. Good job Mr. President, keep it up. Tweet makes them squeak.

  • WE just have to love Our President, gets better everyday ! !
    Go get a Twinkie snowflake ! ! ............ snowflake = dumb a= moron ! !

  • Gee, that's too bad. She has no way to prove what he said isn't true, does she? In a fair and equable court of law, she would lose. Good luck finding a fair and equable court of law when your name is Donald Trump, though. Liberals make up the bulk of lawyers and judges.

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