By Michael StearnsNew York — A federal judge on Friday dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by a New York businessman accusing the Republican presidential candidate of lying in a 2013 New York Times story.
In a ruling issued just before 7 a.m., U.S. District Judge David Doty said the lawsuit by Trump’s attorney, Jeffrey Landis, and his New York-based law firm, LandesKessler, Meyer & Landis should be dismissed.
The lawsuit was filed in January 2013 by a man named John Doe who had filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that Trump had defamed him.
The FTC alleged that Trump’s story, published in the New York Daily News on Nov. 10, 2013, “deceitfully, falsely, and maliciously” falsely described him as a “professional liar” and that Trump was using the story to defraud him.
In the suit, Trump alleged that Landis had falsely represented himself to the FTC that the Times story was “100% factual,” and that he had filed the complaint because Landis was seeking to “obtain monetary damages.”
Landis’ attorney, Mark Geragos, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump’s defamation lawsuit alleged that the “deception” of the Times article had been a “flagrant” and “unsubstantiated” attack on Trump.
“There is no doubt that Trump and Landis lied in the Times and that they engaged in an intentional and intentional scheme to defame Mr. Trump,” the judge wrote in his opinion.
The case, which could potentially have a ripple effect for the political landscape, was a major headache for Trump, who lost the election to Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump also faced legal action from the Federal Election Commission and the New Jersey attorney general.
The Times story quoted Landis as saying that he would “never do business with Trump again.”
LandesKeller, Meyer and Landes Meyer represented Trump for the first half of the trial.