Over the past few years I’ve read a lot of complaints from all sorts of people who wonder why politicians don’t sue people who defame them in public fora such as the National Enquirer.
The answer is sort of complicated. For one big thing, it’s very difficult for a public figure to make a case for defamation.
For another, if a politician is indeed defamed during an election campaign (Hillary, repeatedly, on National Enquirer front pages), by the time anything approaching satisfaction makes it way through the courts, huh. The election is probably over.
Roger Stone — you’ve heard of him, right? — is well known to be a dirty trickster, which means his life has been jammed by accusations and lawsuits for defamation.
Today, I saw this story about a defamation lawsuit Stone settled, in the Daily News. It’ll give you an idea of how Stone operates — blaming someone else, in this case, Sam Nunberg, whose blustery motormouth dimwittedness irritates me regularly when he appears on MSNBC, for passing him wrong info(!?!?!?) — and how he can lose a defamation case.
Um, sorry for fibs on Infowars, Stone sez
By Denis Slattery NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Roger Stone has agreed to publicly apologize for spreading false information online — but placed the blame for his falsehoods on a former friend.
The longtime Republican operative and close Trump associate settled a $100 million lawsuit accusing him of publishing lies on the far-right Infowars website.
The defamation suit settlement, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Monday, allows Stone to avoid paying any damages if he publishes national newspaper ads apologizing for the statements and retracts the statements online.
Guo Wengui, an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, sued Stone in March, saying the “dirty trickster” accused him of being a “turncoat criminal” who violated U.S. election law.
Stone…said in a statement blasting the media that he “made the terrible mistake of relying on the representations” of fellow former Trump aide Sam Nunberg for information he used in his writings.
“I am solely responsible for fulfilling the terms of the settlement,” he added.
Nunberg, who says he once viewed Stone as a mentor, made headlines in March when he went on a cable news blitz and bragged he would not cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian election meddling investigation. He later changed his mind and testified before a grand jury.
Nunberg declined to comment.
Stone has said publicly he expects to be indicted by Mueller. He denies having any backchannel information about WikiLeaks releasing hacked Democratic emails during the 2016 presidential election.