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Judge throws out Donald Trump's $475 million defamation lawsuit against CNN

Trump filed the lawsuit against CNN for describing his claim that the 2020 election was stolen as the “Big Lie.”

A FEDERAL JUDGE has dismissed a $475 million (€430 million) defamation lawsuit that Donald Trump filed against CNN for describing his claim that the 2020 election was stolen as the “Big Lie.”

Trump, in the suit filed in a US District Court in Florida in October, had alleged that the use of the phrase by the cable television news network associated the former US president with tactics used by Adolf Hitler.

US District Court Judge Raag Singhal, who was appointed by Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, threw out the suit on Friday.

“There is no question that the statements made by CNN meet the publication requirement for defamation under Florida law,” Singhal said in his ruling.

“The next question is whether the statements were false statements of fact,” the judge said. “This is where Trump’s defamation claims fail.

“The complained of statements are opinion, not factually false statements, and therefore are not actionable,” Singhal said. “CNN’s statements, while repugnant, were not, as a matter of law, defamatory.

“The case will, therefore, be dismissed.”

In his defamation complaint, Trump said the network’s use of the phrase the “Big Lie” was a “deliberate effort by CNN to propagate to its audience an association between the plaintiff and one of the most repugnant figures in modern history.”

Trump had a caustic relationship with CNN and other major news outlets like The New York Times during his White House term, branding them “fake news” and repeatedly raging against them on social media.

The twice-impeached Trump, who has continued to insist falsely that he won the 2020 presidential election against Democrat Joe Biden, is to go on trial in Florida in May on charges of mishandling top secret government documents.

On Thursday, federal prosecutors unveiled new criminal charges against Trump as part of the case that accuses him of illegally hoarding classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago club and refusing to turn them over to investigators.

The superseding indictment alleges that Trump and two staffers sought to delete surveillance at the club in an effort to obstruct the Justice Department’s investigation.

The case is just one of Trump’s mounting legal challenges. His team is currently bracing for additional possible indictments, which could happen as soon as this coming week, related to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election brought by prosecutors in both Washington and Georgia.

Trump already faces criminal charges in New York over hush money payments made to women who accused him of sexual encounters during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump has embraced his legal woes, turning them into the core message of his bid to return to the White House as he accuses Biden of using the Justice Department to maim his chief political rival.

The White House has said repeatedly that the president has had no involvement in the cases.

At rallies — including one held on Saturday — Trump has tried to frame the charges, which come with serious threats of jail time, as an attack not just on him, but those who support him.

“They’re not indicting me, they’re indicting you. I just happen to be standing in the way,” he told the gathered crowd.

“Every time the radical left Democrats, Marxists, communists and fascists indict me, I consider it actually a great badge of honour… because I’m being indicted for you.”

Trump also threatened Republicans in Congress who refuse to go along with efforts to impeach Biden.

House speaker Kevin McCarthy said this past week that Republicans may consider an impeachment inquiry into the president over unproven claims of financial misconduct.

Additional reporting from Press Association

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