President Trump’s reelection campaign is suing the Washington Post for defamation — an action that comes on the heels of another defamation lawsuit against the New York Times, both having to do with stories reporting on the campaign’s alleged ties with Russia. But according to the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, the lawsuits open up an opportunity for the outlets on the receiving end of the suits to “dig in and proceed straight to the discovery stage of the litigation.”
“Such a move would require the newspapers to turn over emails and submit to depositions about how they commissioned and edited the columns in question,” Wemple writes. “Since discovery is a two-way street, it would also require the Trump campaign to do likewise: to open its aides, past and present, to scrutiny regarding the topics at hand.”
In other words, call Trump’s bluff.
While Wemple admits that his idea is a “fantasy scenario,” he contends that it’s plausible in regards to the process of “civil discovery,” meaning that “both sides are entitled to the documents and information in the other’s possession that shed light on the merits of the case.”
“Also most assuredly, the campaign doesn’t want a situation in which newspaper lawyers are nosing about in its business,” Wemple writes, adding that the Trump campaign “would be hard-pressed to fend off information requests submitted by the defendants in these suits.”
Read his full op-ed over at The Washington Post.