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WESTCHESTER, NY – In a 16-page decision, New York Supreme Court Justice Charles Wood last week denied The New York Times’ motion to dismiss a deformation lawsuit filed against the news organization by Project Veritas, according to reports.
The lawsuit stems from several articles written for the Times by reporters Maggie Astor and Tiffany Hsu that were highly critical of Project Veritas’ coverage of alleged voter fraud in the congressional district of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) last fall.
Over the course of their coverage of Project Veritas, Astor and Hsu referred to the organization’s reporting as “deceptive,” “false,” and “with no verifiable evidence.”
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In his decision to reject The Times’ motion to dismiss the suit, Justice Wood noted that Project Veritas had shown adequate evidence that the New York news outlet had possibly been motivated by “actual malice” and acted with “reckless disregard” in regards to Astor and Hsu’s articles.
“The facts submitted by Veritas could indicate more than standard, garden variety media bias and support a plausible inference of actual malice,” he said. “There is a substantial basis in law to proceed to permit the plaintiff to conduct discovery and to then attempt to meet its higher standard of proving liability through clear and convincing evidence of actual malice.”
“If a writer interjects an opinion in a news article (and will seek to claim legal protections as opinion) it stands to reason that the writer should have an obligation to alert the reader, including a court that may need to determine whether it is fact or opinion, that it is opinion,” Wood continued.
The ruling allows Project Veritas to proceed into the discovery phase of the lawsuit, in which each party investigates the facts of a case by obtaining evidence from the opposing party and others; experts note that this is typically the most time-consuming part of most lawsuits.
“I want to congratulate Project Veritas on their big win on the New York Times,” Trump said. “Now the suit will continue and whatever you can do for their legal defense fund, we’re with them all the way. They do incredible work, they find things nobody would even believe possible. So James, congratulations.”
President Trump is well-known for his hatred of the New York Times often criticizing the paper as ‘fake news’ saying its reports misleads readers with bias journalists.