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After Donald Trump’s attorneys sent the New York Times a letter threatening litigation Wednesday night, the paper of record has responded with what appears to be an impenetrable defense: Donald Trump’s reputation is too fucked up to be libeled.

The paper Wednesday published an article detailing the accounts of two women who say they were sexually assaulted by the Republican nominee for president. One woman, Jessica Leeds, says Trump forcibly groped her during a flight in the 1980s; another, Rachel Crooks, says Trump kissed her without consent on an elevator in Trump Tower.


In response, Trump went apoplectic, shouting at a Times reporter asking for comment that she was a ‚Äúdisgusting human being,‚ÄĚ and told her, ‚ÄúNone of this ever took place,‚ÄĚ adding, ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt do it. I don‚Äôt do it. It was locker room talk.‚ÄĚ

Then Trump‚Äôs lawyers with the law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP issued an essentially meaningless letter demanding the paper retract its ‚Äúlibelous article.‚ÄĚ


The Times‚Äô response is simple‚ÄĒyou can‚Äôt libel someone whose reputation is as bad as Trump‚Äôs.

‚ÄúThe essence of a libel claim, of course, is the protection of one‚Äôs reputation. Mr Trump has bragged about his non-consensual touching of women. He has bragged about intruding on beauty pageant contestants in their dressing room. He has acquiesced to a radio host‚Äôs request to discuss Mr. Trump‚Äôs own daughter as a ‚Äėpiece of ass,‚Äô‚ÄĚ the Times‚Äô lawyers write. ‚ÄúMultiple women not mentioned in our article have publicly come forward to report on Mr. Trump‚Äôs unwanted advances. Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself.‚ÄĚ


The letter also points out the story was a matter of public interest; newsworthy information about a subject of deep public concern. If only that made a difference when a rich man doesn’t like the content...