Trump Trying Again for Prior Restraint

Trump Trying Again for Prior Restraint March 12, 2018

For at least the second time, Trump and his attorneys are trying to exercise prior restraint on the media, this time involving Stormy Daniels. She did an interview with 60 Minutes and Trump’s lawyers are trying to get an injunction to prevent it from airing.

Lawyers associated with President Donald Trump are considering legal action to stop 60 Minutes from airing an interview with Stephanie Clifford, the adult film performer and director who goes by Stormy Daniels, BuzzFeed News has learned.

“We understand from well-placed sources they are preparing to file for a legal injunction to prevent it from airing,” a person informed of the preparations told BuzzFeed News on Saturday evening.

It was not immediately clear what legal argument the lawyers would be making to support the considered litigation, and Trump and his legal team often have threatened litigation without following through on those threats in the past.

The only argument they could possibly make is that the NDA they paid her to sign means she can’t talk about the affair, but that contract is binding on her, not on CBS. They can try to sue her after the fact for damages, but they can’t sue the network for airing it (well, they can, but it will be dismissed — and a major news network is not going to be the least bit intimidated by such threats because they know that). The standard for prior restraint is the strictest scrutiny under the First Amendment. It’s pretty much allowed only if if it puts literal lives in danger, like reporting on troop movements. This has been settled law for nearly a century now. The fact that the interview might prove embarrassing to a politician doesn’t come remotely close to meeting that standard.

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