My Thug Didn’t Look Anything Like the One in Your Sketch!

une pipe

Stormy has just sued The Donald in New York for defamation. Her complaint is six pages long, and you can read it here.

As I am sure you know by now, Stormy claims that a thug threatened her in 2011, demanding that she keep her trap shut about her relationship with Trump. She recently released a forensic sketch of the gentleman, causing Trump to tweet, and I quote, “A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!”

Trump has a Germanic Love for Capital Letters in Sentences, but I suppose that is the Result of his ethnic Heritage, so we will let it pass.

But, to return to the main point, Trump called Stormy a liar—and, by implication, also a criminal, saying that she is trying to bring about the prosecution of someone who never threatened her.

I think it pretty much comes down to this: did the incident happen, and did Stormy work with the forensic artist to try to produce a good sketch? Then she wins. On the other hand, if Trump can prove that she faked it, then he wins. Because, as lawyers like to say, truth is always a defense.

But how the hell would Trump prove the truth of his defamatory twitter?

Paragraphs 31 and 32 of Stormy’s complaint lay out Trump’s problem. If Trump had actual knowledge of the incident, and if he knows that the sketch is bad, or that something else said about it is off the mark, that’s not going to help Trump very much, is it?

On the other hand, if he has no knowledge of the incident, then how does he know that Stormy is making it up?

“But wait a minute,” you say, “Stormy has to prove that the incident did occur and that the sketch is a good faith attempt to depict the thug, right?”

And, yes, that’s right, as far as it goes. But the proof required in a civil defamation case is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt, it’s proof that her is account is more likely true than not—in other words, a 51-49 standard. She can take the stand and give her testimony, and that will be enough to get the case to the jury, who can decide whether they believe her.

Is Trump going to take the stand and try to rebut her testimony? I don’t think so.

But wouldn’t it be fun?

And here’s what, for me, is the really fun part: inevitably, today’s lawsuit will result in some more defamatory Trump tweets, which will lead to amendments to the complaint, which will bring about yet more defamatory tweets, leading to a further round of amendments …