I continue to be surprised that the First Lady is pursuing her defamation suit against the Daily Mail. When you think about how things are likely to unfold, it won’t be surprising if the lawsuit winds up being an unhappy burden for the First Family and a joyous boon for a gossip-slinging tabloid like the Daily Mail.
Consider that if you file this kind of a lawsuit, you are going to have to hand over a huge trove of documents. Don’t expect the Daily Mail to agree to a protective order that would keep those documents under wraps: They will want to use those documents as grist for their pages. And the Daily Mail also will get to take Ms. Trump’s deposition.This means, for their trouble of fighting this lawsuit, they’ll end up getting an exclusive interview with the First Lady of the United States.
The Daily Mail will even have a good argument for taking the deposition of President Trump himself. After all, Ms. Trump’s star power derives from her marriage to the president – she already alleged as much in the original complaint.
The Trumps will of course fight in court to limit discovery and to keep a lid on whatever they do produce. But Ms. Trump is not the defendant – she brought this matter to court herself. So I would expect that the court may not be very receptive to arguments about the inconvenience and burden caused by discovery.
So if Ms. Trump’s lawyers are hoping the newspaper will opt for a quick settlement to avoid the expense of fighting this in court, I don’t see why the Daily Mail would oblige. We’ll see how this all plays out.