A federal judge on Monday threw out adult film actress Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump claiming he suggested she lied about being threatened to keep silent about their alleged affair.
U.S. District Judge S. James Otero, who hinted last month that he would dismiss the case, ruled that the First Amendment protects Trump's speech as "‘rhetorical hyperbole' normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States," according to the Washington Post.
Otero ordered Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, to pay Trump's legal fees.
Charles Harder, one of Trump's attorneys, praised Otero's decision, saying that the amount of legal fees owed would be announced at a later date.
"No amount of spin or commentary by Stormy Daniels or her lawyer, Mr. Avenatti, can truthfully characterize today's ruling in any way other than total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels," Harder said in an emailed statement to the Post.
Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, a potential 2020 presidential candidate, shrugged off the ruling, calling it "limited" and vowing to "appeal the dismissal."
"Re Judge's limited ruling: Daniels' other claims against Trump and Cohen proceed unaffected. Trump's contrary claims are as deceptive as his claims about the inauguration attendance," Avenatti wrote in a tweet that he appears to have later deleted. "We will appeal the dismissal of the defamation cause of action and are confident in a reversal."
Avenatti later tweeted that he appealed Otero's ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Here is the Notice of Appeal we just filed with the Ninth Circuit relating to the defamation claim against Trump. His record before the Ninth Circuit has been anything but good. #Basta pic.twitter.com/SK8QdycoUW
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) October 16, 2018