Donald Trump misspelled the word “libel” in an angry series of tweets after a new report shed light on sexual misconduct claims against Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The president took aim at the report Sunday morning, suggesting that Kavanaugh should sue The New York Times for “liable” after the newspaper investigated a claim of sexual misconduct from Kavanaugh while in college and interviewed people who corroborated the allegation. Trump said that the news media was trying to intimidate Kavanaugh, who is alleged to have exposed his penis to a female classmate at Yale University and put his genitals into the hand of another woman without her consent.
Trump also suggested using the Department of Justice to “rescue” the Supreme Court justice.
“Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for liable [sic], or the Justice Department should come to his rescue,” Trump wrote in a tweet that was later deleted and replaced with corrected spelling. “The lies being told about him are unbelievable. False Accusations without recrimination. When does it stop? They are trying to influence his opinions. Can’t let that happen!”
As the Independent noted, it would be very unlikely that Kavanaugh could file a successful libel claim against The New York Times. The standard for libel against a public official is higher than for a private citizen, with the court requiring that the plaintiff show the news outlet knowingly lied and had actual malice in its intent.
Trump has frequently made threats to sue news outlets for libel for stories critical of him or his administration, and was known during his business days of frequently filing unsuccessful lawsuits against news outlets that were critical of him.
The new report on Kavanaugh has been seized on by critics, including some 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Brett Kavanaugh: "I strongly opposed him, based on his views on executive power, which will continue to haunt our country, as well as how he behaved, including the allegations that we are hearing more about today."
Via ABC pic.twitter.com/bBcHb5hZ9M
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 15, 2019
As The Inquisitr reported, the report released on Saturday showed that the FBI did not properly follow potential leads about the allegation against Kavanaugh from Deborah Ramirez. The report also found Yale classmate Max Stier, now a prominent Washington lawyer and operator of a non-profit, who said he saw Kavanaugh expose his penis during a party and saw Kavanaugh push his genitals into the hand of an unsuspecting young woman.
Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination hearings brought considerable controversy last year amid allegations that the FBI failed to properly investigate the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. Democrats accused Donald Trump and Republicans of pushing his nomination through without proper vetting.