It started on Sept. 16, 2016. A libel suit was filed by #Donald Trump on behalf of wife #Melania Trump in a Maryland courtroom. Trump sued #The Daily Mail (A British Tabloid) and Maryland blogger, Webster Griffin Tarpley for alleged false and defamatory statements about her past. It was stated that the blogger and the Daily Mail reported false information in which Melania Trump had previously worked as a “high-end escort.” However, there were a host of media sites mentioned that made story headlines of similar content, supposedly perpetuated by the Daily Mail and other sites earlier in 2016, that were never legally pursued.

Findings and pending decisions

Tarpley's lawyer argued to have the case dismissed, and that his blog post about the "rumors" surrounding Trump was protected under the First Amendment because she is a public figure.

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“You can't report a rumor if it's not true and it damages someone's reputation," countered Trump's lawyer, Charles Harder. Maryland Judge, Sharon Burrell's ruling was that Trump had sufficiently made out a claim for defamation against Tarpley; she denied the motion to dismiss the case. However, the judge did dismiss Trump's additional claim against Tarpley for wrongful inference in regards to Melania Trump's prospective business advantage as too vague, but permitted Trump's attorney to file an amended complaint in a New York court on that count by February 7, 2017.

The Daily Mail issued a retraction after the filing of the lawsuit. Tarpley also issued an apology and removed the post; however, he accused Trump of acting in bad faith by filing the lawsuit after he complied with Trump's attorney's request to retract the article.

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Nonetheless, if this case goes forward, a trial date has been set for November 6, 2017.

Thin skin and temperament fit in

Melania Trump has settled a defamation lawsuit for a "substantial sum" against a Maryland blogger. Neither side would divulge the amount of the settlement; Trump's lawyer, Charles Harder called it a "substantial sum." The Daily Mail published a retraction and an apology after the lawsuit was filed as well; however Trump filed a new $150 million lawsuit against Mail Media, the Daily Mail's owner, in New York state court, claiming the article had cost her millions of dollars in potential business.

The Trump family has threatened several lawsuits. As recently as November 28, 2017, they pursued legal action against Actress Rosie O'Donnell for using her official twitter account to ask whether or not Barron Trump, the son of Donald Trump and Melania Trump, was autistic. Melania Trump is also taking legal action against the person(s) responsible for creating a video regarding autism entitled "Is Barron Trump Autistic #Stop The Bullying." Despite O'Donnell claiming her tweet came from the heart out of genuine curiosity, the Trump family will not buy that as an excuse.

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In addition, during the 2016 presidential campaign, the president-elect threatened to take legal action against various news and media outlets, including The New York Times. Moreover, as the president of the Unites Stated of America, he has been obsessed with the media for printing what he terms “fake news”stories, at every turn, and he insist on portraying the press as “The Enemy of the American People.”

Walking on eggshells and libel laws

Billionaire Peter Thiel was a secret financial backer for wrestler Terry Bollea—AKA (Hulk Hogan). Thiel hired high-profile lawyer Charles Harder for ten million dollars to secretly back the case for Hogan against the the now defunct online media outlet Gawker. Thiel's personal vendetta against Gawker was for a series of articles that he said “ruined peoples lives.”

In view of the parallel aspects of revenge being the basis of theses cases, the credibility of First Amendment Rights and third party funding come into question. As a note of caution, media correspondents and contributors of news, during this administration should be advised to proceed with caution.