Lawyers for Donald Trump have threatened to sue CNN over what they said is evidence network president Jeff Zucker has a personal vendetta and that the news reporting reflects that, indicating they would be willing to settle out of court for a substantial payment.
That is according to a letter to CNN from lawyers identifying themselves as representing both the President and his re-election campaign.
The letter, reported by various outlets, cites a Project Veritas video alleging to show CNN employees talking about Zucker's fixation on impeachment to the exclusion of other news, and a bias in the reporting against Trump.
The project, whose primary goal is to dig up or create (via hidden camera interviews) evidence of anti-conservative bias, has released three CNN-related videos in the past few days, with a fourth advertised as coming out soon.
"Recently released video footage of individuals alleged to be your employees indicates that your reporting relating to President Trump is contrary to your own mission and the aforementioned Code of Ethics," the lawyers wrote. "Your own employees appear to state that CNN is focused on trying to 'take down President Trump, driven by a 'personal vendetta' that Mr. Zucker purportedly has against him, rather than reporting the news in an objective manner. In the footage, your employees appear to state that CNN attempts to make its reporting appear neutral and unbiased, when in fact its reporting is far from neutral and highly biased against the President."
The letter then includes excerpts from the video and the threat of a suit: "Your actions are in violation of the Lanham Act, among other applicable laws, by constituting misrepresentations to the public, to your advertisers, and others," the layers wrote. "Accordingly, my clients intend to file legal action against you, to seek compensatory damages, treble damages, punitive damages, injunctive relief, reimbursement of legal costs, and all other available legal and equitable remedies, to the maximum extent permitted by law."
But the legal die is not cast yet if CNN is willing to pony up some bucks: "Please contact the undersigned to discuss an appropriate resolution of this matter, which would include a substantial payment of damages, as well as all other appropriate measures that are necessary to fully address the magnitude of the situation."
As to the added footage Veritas released or will be releasing, the lawyers looked to leverage that as well: "The aforementioned examples are merely the tip of the iceberg of the evidence my clients have accumulated over recent years," they said. "We also expect substantial additional information about CNN’s wrongful practices to become known in the coming days and weeks."
They also included the President's standard knock on virtually all the media coverage of his administration: "Never in the history of this country has a President been the subject of such a sustained barrage of unfair, unfounded, unethical and unlawful attacks by so-called 'mainstream' news, as the current situation."
CNN had not returned a request for comment at press time.