Judge may toss Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against Trump

Says Trump's tweet appears to be free speech

By MAEVE RESTON, CNN
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford)

LOS ANGELES (CNN) - Federal District Judge S. James Otero appears to be on the verge of dismissing Stormy Daniels's defamation case against President Donald Trump.

During a hearing in Los Angeles Monday, the judge said that Trump's tweet from April 2018 expressing skepticism about Daniels' claim that a man approached her and threatened her in Las Vegas in 2011 appeared to be well within the bounds of free speech.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the judge said the tweet appeared to be political hyperbole and opinion protected by free speech.

Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, vigorously disagreed and told the court that he could prove that Trump acted with malice toward his client.

One of Daniels' other attorneys told the judge Trump's tweet was "a false statement of fact and we intend to prove that it's a false statement of fact."

Otero did not say when he would rule.

Copyright 2018 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.