Trump Files Libel Suit Against the Pulitzer Prize Board

Former President Donald Trump filed a defamation suit against the Pulitzer Prize Board members on December 13 after the board declined to revoke the 2018 National Reporting prizes. As a result of their coverage of the debunked Trump-Russia collusion allegations, The Washington Post and The New York Times received the award.

Noting that these assertions have been debunked for some time, the Okeechobee County, Florida-filed case alleges that a “demonstrably false connection” was and still is the reason for the awarded coverage.

The lawsuit, acquired by Fox News, states that many Americans had a profound ignorance of the reality at the time the Times’ and the Post’s dissemination of the Russia Collusion Hoax dominated the media. The outlets were astonishingly rewarded for lying to the American public.

The Awards

According to the Pulitzer Prize Board, The Times and The Washington Post were awarded the 2018 National Reporting Prizes for deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that significantly advanced knowledge of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its ties to the Trump campaign, as well as the transition team and administration of the new President.

In spite of the fact that such allegations of collusion between Trump and Russia have long since been discredited, the Pulitzer Prize Board defended its decision to award both publications for their reporting. Initially, such allegations were sparked by alleged backchannels between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank in the now-famous Steele dossier.

The board declared on July 18 that it would not be revoking the awards, despite the former President’s repeated requests and threats of legal action if they were not removed.

The board stated in a statement that the Pulitzer Prize Board has a clear, established procedure for reviewing complaints against winning submissions. In the past three years, the Pulitzer Board has been contacted by former President Donald Trump about The New York Times and The Washington Post submissions on Russian interference in the U.S. election and its ties to the Trump campaign. These were the submissions that won the 2018 National Reporting prize.

Noting that two independent examinations had been performed about the reporting in question. The board continued by stating that both evaluations were done by persons who had neither ties to the institutions whose work was being examined nor to each other. No paragraphs or headlines, claims, or statements in any of the winning submissions were undermined by facts that emerged after awarding the awards, as concluded by the separate assessments. The board noted that the 2018 Pulitzer Prizes for National Reporting would remain in place.

Trump issued the following statement in response to the Pulitzer Board’s decision: The Pulitzer Board has lost any remaining credibility with its decision regarding the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, which awarded blatant fake news by The New York Times and The Washington Post. Instead of operating honestly and offering openness, the Pulitzer Board provides cover for the greatest journalistic failure of the modern era: the Russia-Russia-Russia collusion myth.

Trump also stated that The New York Times and The Washington Post should take the “honorable” path and voluntarily return their awards. Trump added that the Pulitzer Prize was awarded in 2018 to a reporter who parroted political disinformation that we know was manufactured by foreign operatives and his political opponents. If the Pulitzer Prize has become an open acknowledgment of bogus, liberal political propaganda, then the Pulitzer Board should just say so.

The Grievance

In its filing on Tuesday, Trump’s legal team echoed these sentiments, arguing that Pulitzer Board members issued their July statement knowing or recklessly disregarding its falsity and that its members knew that the numerous discrediting of the Russian Collusion Hoax had been conducted in opposition to the deeply sourced, relentlessly reported winning articles, which were contradicted by exhaustive, credible, official investigations.

At the time of publication, practically every branch and agency of the federal government had reviewed this problem and reached the same conclusion: there was no conspiracy or collusion between President Trump, his campaign, and Russia, the former President’s attorneys stated.

Additionally, the complaint alleges that the statement issued by Pulitzer Board was made with actual malice and the intent to harm President Trump and his reputation, adding that the defendants published the Pulitzer Statement with the intent to create a false impression in the reader’s mind that Trump’s campaign, the President-transition elect’s team, and his eventual administration was linked to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump’s legal team seeks damages to be determined at trial.