Should they or shouldn’t they?

A law professor makes the case that the family of Lori Klaustis have grounds for a civil suit against Mr. Trump. In his attempts to “smear” Joe Scarborough, Trump has opened himself up to the possibility of a civil suit.

I’m guessing it is paywalled, but some of the highlights of this opinion include: “But Trump’s wantonly cruel tweets about the tragic death in 2001 of Lori Klausutis are distinctive: They may constitute intentional torts for which a civil jury could award punitive damages against him.”

“Mr. Trump’s first tort is called intentional infliction of emotional distress, which the courts developed precisely to condemn wanton cruelty to another person who suffers emotionally as a result. This tort, which is sometimes called “outrage,” readily applies to Mr. Trump’s tweets about Ms. Klausutis. They were intentional and reckless, and were “extreme and outrageous” without a scintilla of evidence to support them. And they caused severe emotional distress”…

…”Mr. Scarborough might succeed in a defamation suit against Mr. Trump for reputational harm. After all, the president’s innuendo that Mr. Scarborough may have murdered Lori Klausutis — presumably credible to the many Trump Twitter followers who subscribe to conspiracy theories — may seriously harm Mr. Scarborough’s reputation with them and others.”

And probably one of the most important points concerning the legality of a civil suit brought against a sitting President: “Under the court’s unanimous 1998 ruing in Paula Jones’ sexual harassment suit against President Bill Clinton, both of these lawsuits — by Mr. Klausutis and by Mr. Scarborough — could proceed against the president while he is still in office. Because his tweets reach followers nationwide, the lawsuits could probably be brought in any state. And since the subject of his tweets had nothing to do with his presidential responsibilities, he probably could not hide behind an assertion of executive privilege.”

10 thoughts on “Should they or shouldn’t they?

  1. I agree. At some point, slander cannot be ignored as in “Trump being Trump”.

    Alex Jones’ accusations of acting in the school shooting has resulted in lawsuits.

    No “Jones being Jones” defense.

    Stretch this farce to “Dahmer being Dahmer” as an excuse for gustatory predilections and see the logic, if any.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Though I find the inferences offensive, I doubt any suit would succeed.

    Ms Klausutis is not defamed by implying she may have been murdered as that is not wrongdoing on her part. And in any case, you cannot defame the dead.

    Scarborough is a public figure, so the bar is a lot higher for him, he would have to prove actual malice and that President Trump knew the charges to be false.

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    1. The family suit would not be defamation (though she was by the inference of an affair), but for the “emotional distress” to her family. I refer you to the paragraph, quoted from the opinion piece that begins “Mr. Trump’s first tort”…

      And with regards to Scaraborough, it would be hard to prove that the charges are known to be false. However, a man with common sense who sees that the coroner reported her death was caused by an undiagnosed heart condition, causing her to fall and hit her head on a desk, and the police found no criminal cause to her death (and add in the fact that Joe was OUT OF TOWN at the time of the accident), it seems that it is known that the charges are false. And if “name calling” isn’t part of malice, then we can go back to being uncivil here.

      Law professor vs retired dentist with a penchant for defending all things Trump? I’ll take the legal guy’s opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Maybe the husband’s letter to Twitter would show you. But then again, Trump could say the sky was brown and you’d back him 100%. Apprently you disagree with this statement of opinion that “This tort, which is sometimes called “outrage,” readily applies to Mr. Trump’s tweets about Ms. Klausutis. They were intentional and reckless, and were “extreme and outrageous” without a scintilla of evidence to support them. And they caused severe emotional distress” Pretty clear to Joe 12 pack.

          The fact is this LAW PROFESSOR, with actual experience in the law, and not some front porch sea lawyer, thinks there is a case. You may not like it, but it is not up to you.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Read the cite I gave you.

            The outrage tort requires that the statement must be intended to cause distress. There is nothing to indicate Trump even thought about ms Klausutis’s family. Perhaps he should have, but the standard requires intent.

            That doesn’t mean I support Trump’s action, just that the standard for a tort does not appear to be met.

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          2. And I refer you back to the law professor’s take on it, as he believes differently.

            So basically what you are saying is Trump’s defense would be “Your honor, my client had no intent to cause the Klaustis family any harm. He was really just spreading a conspiracy theory, already debunked, that Mr. Scarborough was in some way responsible for her death and possibly had an affair with the unfortunate young lady. There was no intent in dragging her memory through the mud or to cause her family any distress. My client was reckless and not malicious. He is a fine upstanding citizen who the people of this country thought enough of to elect him to the highest office in the land.”

            To quote Col. Potter: “HORSE FEATHERS!”

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          3. Appeals to authority notwithstanding, read the cite and see for yourself what the standard is.

            There are lots of law professors and even judges who are so overcome with their hatred for Trump that they can convince themselves of pretty much anything.

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          4. Again, your love of Trump blinds you to the fact that his tweet was malicious and caused harm to the deceased’s family. And whether this particular law professor has hate or love for Trump, his opinions are valid and I believe he is right in that the standard is met.

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        2. You are overlooking the smear on the deceased wife.

          “ He then tweeted, “A lot of interest in this story about Psycho Joe Scarborough. So a young marathon runner just happened to faint in his office, hit her head on his desk, & die? I would think there is a lot more to this story than that? An affair?”

          An affair?

          An affair is a direct attack on both the young wife and Scarborough.

          It was done with intent to damage Scarborough by also smearing the married woman as having an affair.

          I think therein lies the problem. Accusations and insinuations of extramarital affairs affect both people, especially if they are married, but not to each other.

          “I didn’t intend to kill the girl your honor. I shot at the man and she was with him in the hotel bar having drinks, wearing sleazy makeup and a revealing dress.

          I think Trump should be sued and I think he would lose.

          “Barr, Barr…where is my man Barr?”

          Liked by 1 person

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