Former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio filed a lawsuit against CNN and several other publications on Monday, accusing them of slander and libel by labeling him a “felon,” World Net Daily reported.
CNN president Jeff Zucker, CNN host Chris Cuomo, Rolling Stone Magazine and the Huffington Post are named in the suit. Larry Klayman, a former federal prosecutor and the founder of Freedom Watch, is representing Arpaio.
“Specifically, the complaint alleges that these ‘Fake News’ publications slandered and libeled former Maricopa sheriff and U.S. Senate candidate Joe Arpaio by falsely branding him a ‘felon,’” Klayman said, according to WND.
Arpaio, known as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” was never found guilty of a felony, arrested or imprisoned. Arpaio was, however, pardoned by President Donald Trump for a misdemeanor.
“The nullification of even the misdemeanor finding, which Sheriff Arpaio submits was legally incorrect but simply the basis of politics, as he had not violated a court order and intentionally profiled illegal immigrants, is on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,” Klayman said.
“Sheriff Arpaio is confident that even the misdemeanor finding will eventually also be vacated.”
Arpaio is seeking $300 million in actual and punitive damages.
Rolling Stone “silently” changed a story online, inaccurately labeling him an “ex-felon,” according to the Times, but Arpaio believes that the damage was not undone since earlier readers were not alerted to the misinformation.
“As a direct and proximate result of defendants and their agents’ extreme, outrageous and malicious conduct set forth above, Plaintiff Arpaio has been the subject of widespread ridicule and humiliation and has suffered severe loss of reputation, which has in turn also caused him pain and financial damage,” Klayman wrote.
“Plaintiff Arpaio has been the target of three separate defamatory publications that falsely refer to and defamed him per se as a convicted felon,” the complaint reads.
According to the complaint, the statements were made with “a reckless disregard for the truth.”
“Plaintiff Arpaio’s distinguished 55-year law enforcement and political career has been severely harmed, as his reputation has been severely damaged among and with the Republican establishment.”
Arpaio is a veteran of the United States military and was later part of a team that became the Drug Enforcement Administration, following his discharge, according to the lawsuit. He later served as the sheriff of Maricopa County and served for almost 25 years.
“It’s time that someone stood up to the Left’s ‘Fake News’ media, which is bent on destroying anyone who is a supporter of the president and in particular Sheriff Arpaio,” Klayman said, according to WND.
“My client will not be bullied by the likes of Jeff Zucker, Chris Cuomo, the Huffington Post, and Rolling Stone, as he alone has the courage to stand up for not just himself, the president of the United States but also all fair-minded and ethical Americans.”
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