Transcript for Publisher asks to dismiss ex-Playboy model's Trump-related lawsuit
Jon, thanks very much. A new twist in the legal battle between "The national enquirer" and that "Playboy" model who claims she had an affair with Donald Trump back in 2006. The publisher is asking a California court to dismiss Karen Mcdougal's lawsuit and linsey Davis has the latest. Good morning. Reporter: Good morning. Of course, the first amendment is all about freedom of speech and freedom of the press and "The national enquirer" is invoking its r50i9 to purchase and not publish Karen Mcdougal's story, a tactic called catch and kill and the company says it could not be punished for exercising that right. This morning, the publisher of "The national enquirer" is hitting back against former "Playboy" model Karen Mcdougal asking a California court to dismiss her lawsuit against American media inc. Over her story. Mcdougal who last month told CNN her alleged affair with him started in 2006 claims she was tricked into signing the agreement which paid her $150,000 for her story with any then married man. Were you in love with him. I was, yeah. Do you think he was in love with you? He was. Reporter: In a nearly 200-page response Ami which did not run her story is asking that the lawsuit be dismissed claiming it has a first amendment right not to publish and cannot be punished for exercising that right. Adding, there was no fraud in the execution of the agreement. Ami released a statement saying we hope that Mcdougal will continue to be a valued contributor. While we dispute her legal claims we look forward to reaching an applicable resolution satisfactory to her and to Ami. But Mcdougal's attorney is firing back telling ABC news the tabloid went to great lengths to silence her and others and they are now attempting to silence her again with the absurd claim that their own free speech was violated. Shy didn't fully understand anything about the contract. She wants to get out from under the thumb of a huge company that is essentially controlling her life. Reporter: David Schwartz tells ABC news the case belongs in arbitration pursuant to the arbitration clause in the agreement. Mcdougal's attorney however says they look forward to opposing Ami's motion. Thanks very much. Let's talk about it with Dan Abrams. "The national enquirer" has a relatively strong claim. Certainly on the contractual argument, right. They had a contract with her. This was the deal. She's now saying she didn't understand some of the contract. She didn't understand that this meant that they could not publish certain things. Their constitutional arguments are less strong. I mean because they're in essence saying this is a first amendment right of a company and it's true that a media company is allowed to decide what they want to publish and not publish. I think there's an argument to be made it's a little different when the goal is if it's true, a, to help a personal friend of the president by, B, buying something to not publish it meaning there is a difference between choosing not to publish something and buying it not to publish it. Now, they would dispute that, et cetera. But I do think that makes this a little bit of a trickier constitutional -- We have a relatively significant thing in the Mueller investigation. He was clearly authorized to look at collusion especially Paul manafort. Paul manafort has sought to throw out his indictment saying Mueller has gone beyond where he was authorized to go in this investigation. And this document shows for the first time that rod Rosenstein actually not -- the deputy attorney general who oversees Robert Mueller wrote an additional memo in August of 2017 which made it clear that they are allowed to look into collusion with regard to manafort and other possible crimes that may have been earlier with regard to manafort which is exactly what the manafort charges relate to. Clearly contradicts the president's claims. They definitely have not concluded that. Dan Abrams, thanks very much.
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