President Donald Trump’s campaign is spending the greatest portion of its money not on advertising or even defense attorneys, but on a law firm that is threatening to sue the media.
A CNN report Friday explained that Charles Harder’s Beverly Hills firm, Harder LLP, is the highest-paid legal bill on the publicly available Trump books. The firm, however, is known for “sending letters to newsrooms alleging defamation and for a lawsuit that gutted the website Gawker.”
Thursday, Trump’s campaign announced a libel lawsuit against the New York Times for an editorial about the Russia scandal. The campaign said that it somehow exceeded the typical opinion piece.
“Fortunately, the law protects the right of Americans to express their judgments and conclusions, especially about events of public importance,” a New York Times spokesperson said. “We look forward to vindicating that right in this case.” The First Amendment provides broad protections for opinions about and news coverage of public figures, who face a higher bar than average people in proving defamation claims.
Harder’s work for the Trump campaign mirrors the President’s affinity for loudly and publicly slamming news outlets. And it suggests more active efforts to take on the media will be part of the Trump campaign’s reelection playbook.
The data shows that Trump’s campaign employes several law firms but Harder seems to be the most costly.
CNN recalled that Trump has been prone to lawsuits since the mid-1980s when an architecture critic blasted the design of his building. In 2013, Trump tried to sue comedian Bill Maher for saying Trump looked like “the spawn of an orangutan.”