Larry Klayman, the dumbest lawyer in America not named Mat Staver, has a shiny new lawsuit that will inevitably be dismissed. He’s suing CNN, the Huffington Post and others on behalf of Joe Arpaio for a whopping $330 million because they misidentified his criminal contempt of court conviction as a felony.
Arizona’s Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio filed a multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit against several media outlets on Monday.
Arpaio’s suit lists CNN, CNN president Jeff Zucker and its anchor Chris Cuomo; HuffPost and its senior political reporter Kevin Robillard; and Rolling Stone and its staff writer Tessa Stuart, claiming that they falsely referred to him as a “convicted felon” despite his presidential pardon.
The lawsuit, filed in Washington, D.C., is asking for $300,500,000 in damages and attorney fees. Arpaio, who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate this year, is being represented by Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch and a former federal prosecutor.Arpaio claims in the lawsuit that CNN targeted him three separate times. The suit specifically refers to Cuomo calling Arpaio a “convicted felon” during a Jan. 10 segment.
He was convicted of criminal contempt of court, which is actually neither a misdemeanor or a felony, but an administrative penalty. But the fact that it was criminal contempt rather than civil contempt conveys the seriousness of what he did, which was to refuse to follow a court order restraining his racially biased immigration enforcement. It’s true that those outlets misidentified the crime, but under NY Times v Sullivan, it’s almost impossible to prove defamation. For a public figure suing a media outlet, he has to prove that they deliberately did this with actual malice. The closest they come in the complaint is the typical KLayman boilerplate that those outlets have “liberal enmity” against Arpaio. That doesn’t even come close to the legal standard. This case will either be dismissed or Arpaio will lose on summary judgment.