A defamation lawsuit filed by Republican political consultant and television pundit Cheri Jacobus against President-elect Donald Trump over insulting tweets was dismissed by a New York judge Tuesday.
New York state Supreme Court Judge Barbara Jaffe ruled that Trump’s Twitter behavior towards Jacobus constituted an opinion and did not amount to defamation, CNN reports.
“His [Trump’s] tweets about his critics, necessarily restricted to 140 characters or less, are rife with vague and simplistic insults such as ‘loser’ or ‘total loser’ or ‘totally biased loser,’ ‘dummy’ or ‘dope’ or ‘dumb,’ ‘zero/no credibility,’ ‘crazy’ or ‘wacko’ and ‘disaster,’ all deflecting serious consideration,” Jaffe wrote in a ruling that concluded it was “impossible to conclude” Trump’s tweets damaged the career of the plaintiff.
Jacobus filed the lawsuit against Trump and his then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski last April. The vocally anti-Trump consultant’s suit claimed the early 2016 tweets — which alleged Jacobus begged for a job with the Trump campaign and was a “dummy” — were totally false and “incited a virtual campaign of abuse and harassment against Jacobus, causing enormous damage to her career and reputation, significant emotional distress and holding her up to public ridicule.” (RELATED: GOP Consultant Sues Donald Trump And His Campaign Manager For Defamation)
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016
Jacobus did interview for a communications job with the Trump campaign in 2015 and asked for a salary that would net her $19,000 a month for her work. She claims she later decided against working for Trump over her negative impression of Lewandowski.
The self-declared TV pundit’s lawyer was “very, very disturbed with this ruling” with Tuesday’s ruling and argued that it eliminates protection for those who have been defamed by the president-elect.
“The court gave Donald Trump a free pass to trample on the rights of any critic. It’s a sad day for freedom of speech, a sad day for the First Amendment, and a sad day for democracy,” Jacobus’ attorney Jay Butterman said, according to CNN.
Butterman vowed to appeal the court’s ruling.
Trump’s legal team, on the other hand, was very happy with the decision and praised Judge Jaffe’s ruling as a “very well reasoned decision recognizing… that it was clearly opinion, therefore not actionable.”