Trump and/or his companies have been involved in 4,095 lawsuits over a span of 30 years according to a USA Today study. Several of those have involved media companies and journalists. Trump also regularly threatens lawsuits as a means of intimidating his critics.



Trump has a poor record when it comes to filing libel suits. Of the seven he has filed, four were dismissed, two were withdrawn, and one was won in arbitration.

The First Amendment makes it difficult for public figures to successfully sue for libel. A plaintiff who is a public official must prove the defendant acted with "actual malice." Truth is also almost always the ultimate defense and has been for even longer than the existence of the United States, when Andrew Hamilton successfully argued the point in a 1733 case called "Crown v. Zenger." 

A USA Today analysis said of Trump's frequent lawsuit threats: "The threats can be effective. Even the possibility of a lawsuit by a rich, powerful opponent raises the specter of years of expensive and time-consuming litigation."