Donald Trump Threatens $25m Lawsuit Over Campaign Urging Macy’s To 'Dump Trump'
By Mel Fabrikant Thursday, February 21, 2013, 04:32 PM EST
Donald Trump has threatened online organizer Angelo Carusone, who started the petition on SignOn.org urging Macy’s to Dump Trump, with a $25 million lawsuit if he continues to urge Macy’s to sever ties with the vitriolic TV personality known for bullying his detractors and a pattern of racist, sexist and mean-spirited comments.
Over 680k Sign Petition To Macy’s Urging the Retailer to Dump Trump
** http://signon.org/sign/urge-macys-to-dump-donald **Donald Trump’s attorney sent Angelo Carusone a cease and desist letter on December 27, 2012 after the Hollywood Reporter reported that mobile billboards circled Macy’s Herald Square store and corporate headquarters in Cincinnati urging the company to restore the “Magic of Macy’s.”
View a copy of the letter from Trump’s attorney here: www.scribd.com/doc/122801179/Trump-Legal-Threat-Over-Macy-s-Petition
In the letter, Trump’s attorney, Alan Garten threatens Carusone with “a major, multimillion dollar lawsuit” unless he immediately stops in his effort to “tortiously interfere with Mr. Trump’s business and contractual relationships.” In the letter, Mr. Garten accuses Carusone of “mob-like bullying and coercion” and “intentionally disseminating misinformation.”
On January 23, 2013, Paul Levy of Public Citizen, a long-standing advocate for free-speech and Carusone’s attorney, issued a response letter challenging Garten’s claims.
“Your letter repeatedly asserts, without any factual basis, that Carusone has exaggerated the extent to which members of the public have endorsed his boycott effort; you also contend, again without being specific, that Carusone casts Trump in a false light. During your call, you said that Trump is itching to proceed with litigation, that Macy’s wants him to file a lawsuit, and that you could identify several respects in which Carusone’s statements are false. You said that you would send that listing to me, but I have not yet received it.”
In the letter, Levy explains, “There is a well-established First Amendment right to advocate a boycott over policy-related objections... I have no reason to believe that there is a tort of exaggerating the public support for a political campaign. If there were such a tort, I imagine that most candidates for public office, no doubt including your client, would be liable at one point or another.”
View a copy of the response to Trump’s attorney here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/122802728/Carusone-Response-To-Trump-Legal-Threat
“Donald Trump’s attempt to silence me will not work. I've dealt with enough bullies and know better than to succumb to intimidation,” said Angelo Carusone. “By threatening me, Trump is only reinforcing the point that we've been trying to get Macy's to recognize: that Trump's brand is consequence-free bullying and chicanery; it shouldn't be rewarded. I was also surprised to hear Trump's counsel claim that Macy's is supportive of Trump's legal action. Trump doesn't have credibility, so I don't put too much stock in the claim, but I really hope Macy's isn't encouraging these kinds of threats against its own customers.”
“From the boycott of Missouri for blocking the Equal Rights Amendment to refusing to eat at Chick-fil-A for opposing gay rights, the ability to stimulate a mass “vote with your wallet” campaign has been a key weapon for activists that has long been recognized under the First Amendment,” added Levy. “Free speech trumps business expectations; even Donald Trump should know better than to bring the suit that he threatens.”
MoveOn Civic Action, which sponsors the petition platform SignOn.org where Carusone started his petition has said, "We stand behind Angelo Carusone and the other individuals using SignOn.org to exercise their First Amendment rights. We deplore any and all attempts to bully and intimidate Americans who are simply exercising their constitutional right to freedom of speech and who are courageous enough to speak truth to power."
Since the petition went viral last November, more than 680,000 people have joined Angelo’s petition on SignOn.org telling Macy’s that Trump's brand of bigoted bullying is not in line with the magic of Macy's - or the company's corporate responsibility policy. Petition signers have taken to Facebook and Twitter by the tens of thousands to let Macy’s know their dissatisfaction with Macy’s decision to stand by Trump. AdWeek reported in late November that Macy’s had suffered significant brand damage as a result of its association with Donald Trump.
SIGN THE PETITION HERE: http://signon.org/sign/urge-macys-to-dump-donald