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Sue, Donald, Sue

Donald Trump’s lawyers have demanded that publication of a new book about him be halted and have threatened to sue the author and publisher for libel. Apparently, the threat has inspired a great deal of fear and anxiety on the part of both author and publisher, as my wife tells me they’ve pushed up the publication date to tomorrow. Who knows, maybe Trump has a financial stake in the book and is just trying to push up the sales figures. That seems doubtful, however, which makes one wish to have been a fly on the wall (one that comprehended human speech, of course) while Trump was demanding that his lawyers write the demand letter. For there are only two possibilities here. One is that the lawyers tried to explain to Trump that nothing could be worse than for him to bring such a suit. The other is that he has the most incompetent lawyers in the country, and they advised a reluctant Trump to authorize them to write the letter.

I fervently hope Trump sues. There are always questions about the susceptibility of a sitting president to be civilly sued or prosecuted for a crime, but those questions go out the window if he chooses to be a plaintiff. He would have to respond to discovery requests, meaning he could be deposed along with almost everyone else in the White House, and there’s a better than even chance (assuming the case is assigned to a halfway impartial judge) that the fact that he filed suit at all would be considered a waiver of privileges that might otherwise attach. Truth, after all, is a defense, and if he’s going to sue someone, even a right wing judge would probably rule that the defendant gets to develop their defense. And remember, they don’t have to prove that Trump is an idiot, though that might be easy enough to prove. They just have to prove that everyone around him says he’s an idiot, and they have tapes.

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