On Tuesday, a New York State court dismissed a defamation lawsuit against the New York Times that was filed by Donald Trump's re-election campaign.
The suit against the Times alleged that Trump had been defamed by an op-ed written by Max Frankel in March 2019, which argued that there had been a "quid pro quo" between Trump and Russian officials, designed to help Trump get elected president in 2016.
Judge James E. d'Auguste's opinion stated that Frankel's commentary was constitutionally protected free speech; that Trump's campaign did not have standing to sue for defamation; and that the suit had failed to show that the Times had published the opinion piece with "actual malice."
While granting the Times' motion for dismissal, the judge did not grant its request that sanctions be imposed on the Trump campaign for having brought the suit.
“The court made clear today a fundamental point about press freedom: We should not tolerate libel suits that are brought by people in power intending to silence and intimidate those who scrutinize them,” David McCraw, the Times’s deputy general counsel, said in a statement.