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The Famous Cat Lawyer, The Smartmatic Defamation Lawsuit Against Fox News, and Impeachment Part II!

By February 10, 20214 Comments


Hello and welcome back to another Legal Briefs.  Today we are talking about purrrrrrty lawyers, defamation lawsuits,  and of course Impeachment part II.  Stay tuned – you will NOT be disappointed.

So, I was taught to start with your strongest material so here goes.  We start..well, it’s a Zoom hearing like all of us lawyers have been getting used to this last year and..let’s just say that one of the lawyers might have had his kid playing with his filters before the hearing.  Yes, this actually did happen.      (:01-:39)

Oh God – it cracks me up every time.  “I’m NOT a cat Your Honor”  – only a lawyer would say that!   I hope the lawyer was able to get his filter turned off or he might have committed “puuurjury”

Life is awesome.  By the way – note that streaming of that video was punishable by up to 180 days in jail.  (screenshot with a circle)  Legal Briefs – ready to do jailtime in order to entertain you.

I’m not sure how to beat that but here we go.  Next we have a lawsuit filed by voting machine manufacturer Smartmatic against FoxNews and Rudy Guilano.

Apparently Rudy and Fox suggested or alluded to Smartmatic being involved in a plot to steal the election and, the lawsuit is 300 pages and I did NOT have time to read it but look at the first paragraph of the Complaint – this makes me feel like I need to up my pleading game.

“The Earth is round. Two plus two equals four. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election. …The election was not stolen, rigged, or fixed.  These are facts.  They are demonstrable.”

Whatever you think about the election, that is a great opening paragraph to a Complaint.  Hats off to attorney Edward Wipper.

Defamation is a False Statement, made to a 3rd party, known to be false, which causes the defamed party damage.  If the statement is in writing it’s libel, if it’s spoken it’s Slander – remember the “S” in slander means spoken.

I think Smartmatic has 2 main problems here – the burden of proof is higher here because the Defendants are public figures and members of the press.  Public figures and the press are protected against defamation lawsuits more than you and I because it’s important they be allowed to say controversial things.  So Smartmatic is going to have to prove “Actual Malice” meaning they will have to show that Rudy and the FoxNEws crew not only said false things but said them with the INTENT TO harm the Plaintiff.  That’s the New York Times v. Sullivan case and it’s really hard to prove WHY someone said something unless you are somehow able to find a text message or email “I am going to say they stole the election to teach them a lesson” and that is a rare thing to find a smoking gun like that.

The 2nd issue is going to be damages because Smartmatic will have prove it lost jobs or money BECAUSE OF the Foxnews stories and that is also going to be hard to prove.  Who’s gonna go on the record and say “Yeah, our county was GOING to use Smartmatic but then we saw a FOxnews story about how Smartmatic might have helped steal the election and decided to go a different direction.”  It might happen but, seems a long shot to me.

In any case, getting to the big legal story of the week – we have another impeachment of Donald Trump taking place as we speak.  At issue?  No less than whether Trump can run for President again in 2024 and join the large and illustrious group of Presidents who lost the presidency and then ran again and won and that list includes Grover Cleveland and… that’s it.  Just Grover Cleveland.

In any case the first day of the impeachment “trial” was actually focused on jurisdiction and actually this is EXACTLY how most trials begin – you always argue procedural and other motions first before you even begin to pick a jury and the question for the impeachment is : Whether Congress can even impeach the President, if he’s no longer President.

Congress voted they can and I think they got it wrong.  Let’s look at  the language from the Constitution:

Article 1, Section 3, Clause 7“Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.”

I look at this kind of language everyday and the argument is simple and it rest on one word “and”  .. ‘Impeachment can only lead to “removal from office, AND disqualification.”  The drafters could have said “OR” which means you can remove a President OR disqualify him but chose the Word “AND” which ties the two together – they must both be included and, since Trump is no longer President, he can no longer be removed which means – no Jurisdiction.  That’s my argument, I think Congress got it wrong.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments (it’s good for the Youtube algorithm) and if you aren’t interested in statutory interpretation – watch the cat video again and give me your best cat joke.

And I leave you with the ending of my First video on impeachment which I made right before Trump’s FIRST impeachment.  Watch this and remember: I’m ALWAYS right.

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