Last week a scandal erupted after Sean Spicer quoted a (now fired) Fox News pundit during a press briefing. Spicer quote from the pundit, Andrew Napolitano, included allegations that it was British signals intelligence agency GCHQ that wiretapped Trump.
After official complaints from the British Government, and an official apology from the White House, the scandal has been put to bed and the two countries can resume being close allies.
However, George W. Bush’s Ethics lawyer, Richard Painter, thinks otherwise.
Obama could now have a co-plaintiff in a libel suit against Trump. If only they were willing.https://t.co/SnHAnUOpZu
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) March 20, 2017
Painter suggests that The Queen could join hands with former President Barack Obama and launch a joint lawsuit against President Trump, accusing him of libel.
The UK has extremely stringent libel laws, which means that celebrities often go there to file lawsuits against those they allege invade their privacy. Libel is the accusation that someone has published a statement which is not only false but damages the victim’s reputation.
Fortunately for Trump, there are a few reasons why this probably won’t happen. The first is that Trump didn’t accuse the Queen, but a government organization. The second reason is that the Queen isn’t part of the British Government. She is a ceremonial figurehead who opens and closes Parliament. She is kept in the loop on political matters but does not make any decisions.
Perhaps, however, Painter has a point. When the United Kingdom is slandered, it unjustly tarnishes Her Majesty’s reputation.
Yesterday during the House Intelligence Committee hearing James Comey, the FBI Director, confirmed that a President cannot order a wiretap.
This confirms suspicions that Trump was inventing falsehoods when he accused Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower during the elections. Obama definitely could sue the President for libel if he wanted to.
Obama definitely could sue the President for libel if he wanted to, however, it’s probably more satisfying to see Trump’s ridiculous claims debunked publicly by intelligence chiefs.