Trump Threatens Lawsuits Over Sexual Assault Stories

Numerous women have come forward with accusations against Donald Trump since the nation was stunned over the video in which he bragged about groping women last week. Several women have claimed that Trump assaulted and tried to fondle them without their consent in incidents that span decades. Now Donald Trump is fighting back against the claims.

Trump’s lawyers have issued a warning to the New York Times over a story that the Times published yesterday. The Times story details the claims of two women who say they were physically assaulted by Mr. Trump. One incident allegedly occurred in the first class cabin of an airliner “more than three decades ago.” The second was in 2005 in an elevator in the Trump Tower. Both women say they had told their stories to friends previously.

This morning, CNN reports that Trump attorney Marc E. Kasowitz wrote in an open letter to Times executive editor Dean Baquet, “Your article is reckless, defamatory and constitutes libel per se. We hereby demand that you immediately cease any further publication of this article, remove it from your website and issue a full and immediate retraction and apology. Failure to do so will leave my client with no option but to purse all available actions and remedies.”

People Magazine” also published an article yesterday in which a former “People” reporter assigned to “the Trump beat” claimed that Mr. Trump forcibly kissed her and told her, “We’re going to have an affair, I’m telling you.” She was at Trump’s Florida mansion to cover the story of Donald and Melania’s first anniversary in 2005. She says she told a colleague the next day and asked to be removed from covering Trump in the future. There is no word of a lawsuit threat for “People.”

Both the Times article and CNN reported that Trump denied the accusations. “None of this ever took place,” Trump said. He also reportedly called the Times reporter “a disgusting human being.”

“I think it is pretty evident this story falls clearly in the realm of public service journalism, and discussing issues that arose from the tape and his comments since it surfaced,” Baquet told CNN.

CNN cites sources within the Trump campaign who say that Trump’s attorneys are preparing lawsuits against the Times and the Palm Beach Post, which published a story about a separate incident that allegedly occurred at Mar-a-Lago 13 years ago. The woman making the accusation says that she immediately told her coworker and later described the incident to her family.

“If the Trump campaign does proceed with lawsuits,” noted CNN, “it will give both the Times and the Post the opportunity to pursue discovery and request information on Trump’s entire sexual history, because Trump would have the burden of proving falsity and actual malice.”

Any lawsuit will come too late to save the Trump campaign. With the election three weeks away and more accusers coming forward, it is all but certain that Donald Trump’s freefall in the polls will continue.

Trump responded to the allegations in characteristic fashion. He tweeted. This morning he posted, “The phony story in the failing @nytimes is a TOTAL FABRICATION. Written by same people as last discredited story on women. WATCH!”

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David Thornton

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