By Gretchen Schuldt
President Donald Trump's campaign has agreed to drop the lawsuit it filed against a small Wisconsin television station over an advertisement the station aired.
"The parties intend this Stipulation for Dismissal and Release to foreclose the assertion by the Plaintiff and its candidate in any court or forum of any claims made or that could have been made against the Defendant and Intervenor Defendant in connection with advertising arising out of the 2020 election," the agreement between Trump's campaign and WJFW says.
The agreement also includes Priorities USA, which ran the ad. Priorities USA intervened in the suit after it was filed.
“Like all of his other misguided legal actions, Donald Trump only knows how to lie, cheat, and sue his way out of accountability for his actions,” Priorities USA Chairman Guy Cecil said about the dismissal agreement. "Priorities stood strong against the Trump campaign’s onslaught of baseless legal actions and we have successfully rebuffed Donald Trump’s effort to censor the truth about his failed leadership. I have confidence that the courts will continue to reject Donald Trump’s other foolish litigation pursuits in the weeks to come.”
The station, WJFW-TV, of Rhinelander, had sought dismissal of the suit, arguing that Trump's defeat in his re-election bid mandated an end to the litigation.
The suit alleged that a political ad the station aired showing Trump downplaying the threat of COVID-19 contained false and defamatory content. The ad was played by stations across the state, but those stations were not sued. (Politifact did label it false – details here.)
The station was represented by the law firms of Ballad Spahr and Godfrey & Kahn. Priorities USA was represented by Perkins Coie. The Trump campaign was represented by Husch Blackwell.
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