Somebody has been taking advice from Devin Nunes.

Courtesy of CNBC:

President Donald Trump’s campaign sued The New York Times on Wednesday for libel over an opinion article, saying the newspaper published its allegedly false claims last year with the “intentional purpose” of damaging Trump’s chances for reelection this year.

The campaign said that the Times falsely reported “as fact a conspiracy with Russia” in the op-ed written by Max Frankel, which was published on March 27, 2019, under the headline “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo.”

Frankel is a former executive editor of the newspaper.

The lawsuit, which was filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, claims “millions” of dollars in damages, but does not give a specific monetary amount.

Among other things, the suit alleges that the newspaper “has engaged in a systematic pattern of bias” against Trump’s campaign, which is designed to damage the campaign’s reputation and cause it to fail.

A Times spokesman said, “The Trump Campaign has turned to the courts to try to punish an opinion writer for having an opinion they find unacceptable.”

“Fortunately, the law protects the right of Americans to express their judgments and conclusions, especially about events of public importance. We look forward to vindicating that right in this case,” the spokesman said.

This was an opinion piece so it seems a little ridiculous to suggest Frankel did not have a 1st Amendment right to write his opinion, or for the New York Times to publish it. 

This is not an attack on the NYT, this is an attack on perhaps our most important amendment. 

Besides, Frankel wasn’t wrong. 

Here read this from the beginning the opinion piece published March 27th, of last year:

Collusion — or a lack of it — turns out to have been the rhetorical trap that ensnared President Trump’s pursuers. There was no need for detailed electoral collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy because they had an overarching deal: the quid of help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton for the quo of a new pro-Russian foreign policy, starting with relief from the Obama administration’s burdensome economic sanctions. The Trumpites knew about the quid and held out the prospect of the quo.

Run down the known facts about the communications between Russians and the Trump campaign and their deal reveals itself. Perhaps, somewhere along the line, Russians also reminded the Trump family of their helpful cooperation with his past financial ventures. Perhaps, also, they articulated their resentment of Mrs. Clinton for her challenge as secretary of state to the legitimacy of Mr. Putin’s own election. But no such speculation is needed to perceive the obvious bargain reached during the campaign of 2016.

An “obvious bargain” that is essentially made more obvious by every decision that Trump makes concerning Russia, like pulling out of Syria, squashing the implementation of new sanctions, and punishing anybody who dares report that Russia continues their campaign of election interference. 

In fact this very lawsuit seems to be part of a much larger campaign to stifle reporting about Russian interference from news agencies, intelligence agencies, or even members of Congress. 

The harder Trump pushes back against these truths the more obvious they become.