Corey Lewandowski Threatens To Sue New York Magazine Over Reported Unlawful Entry By Reporter Olivia Nuzzi [Updated]

imagesFormer Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has, through counsel, sent a intent to sue letter to New York Magazine over an alleged home invasion by reporter Olivia Nuzzi.  Nuzzi in March admitted that she entered his home without permission — an act that certainly would be a crime as well as a tort. Update:  There is an interesting twist (and potential defense) to the potential criminal or tort case involving the “home” of Lewandowski, which also happens to be the office of Turnberry Solutions, a lobbying firm started a close Trump campaign associate. 

Nuzzi said that she was doing a story on former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks and entered the home after knocking for ten minutes. She recounted to the Columbia Journalism Review: “I tried to knock on the basement door, but the gate wasn’t open. Then I walked up the steps to the main door and knocked for, like, 10 minutes. And I’m knocking, knocking, nobody’s answering. But after a while, I just touched the door knob, and the door was open. I walked in and I’m in the house, by myself.” It was an incredible decision and she admits to talking a picture inside the house of a wall with a scroll reading “The wilderness shall blossom as the rose.”

 In her story for New York Magazine, Olivia Nuzzi describes the ornate wall hanging found just inside the townhome where Corey Lewandowski lives. In an interview with Columbia Journalism Review, Nuzzi cops to taking a picture of it upon entering the building by herself 

On Thursday, Corey Lewandowski tweeted a Fox News story about Olivia Nuzzi admitting that she entered his residence adding, 'I haven’t seen my photo album that was in the foyer prior to this incident. Wonder where it could be?' 

Courts have previously held that reporters do not have any special privilege to commit trespass and may be sued for such offenses.  In Food Lion v. ABC , a store was shown in an undercover segment engaging in unsanitary techniques and accused Food Lion of selling rat-gnawed cheese, meat that was past its expiration date and old fish and ham that had been washed in bleach to kill the smell. Food lion denied the allegations and sued ABC for trespass. A jury ruled against ABC and awarded Food Lion punitive damages for the investigation involving ABC journalists lying on their application forms and assumed positions under false pretenses. (here). The Fourth Circuit however wiped out the punitive damage award while upholding the verdicts of trespass and breach of loyalty with awards of only $1 for each.

There is also a case out of the Seventh Circuit. Judge Richard Posner wrote the decision in Desnick v. ABC where investigative reporters went undercover in 1993 to show that employees of the Desnick eye clinic had tampered with the clinic’s auto-refractor, the machine used to detect cataracts so that the machine produced false diagnoses to find cataracts (and require procedures). The court rejected wiretapping claims (based on the state’s one-party consent rules) as well as trespass and defamation claims. On trespass, the court noted that the reporters were allowed into areas open to new patients. Posner relied on the consent to the entry to negate the trespass claim even when the entrant “has intentions that if known to the owner of the property would cause him . . . to revoke his consent.”

The fact that this was a property shared with a business does raise a Desnick-like distinction. Unlike the meat area behind the deli that was closed off to the public in Food Lion, Nuzzi could claim that this was an area where visitors would customarily be allowed access by the firm.

The townhouse in this case was located in D.C. where such unlawful entry is treated as a misdemeanor (absent any theft claim):

The DC Code: § 22-3302 Unlawful entry on property.

Index → 22 Criminal Offenses and Penalties. (Refs & Annos)

(1) Any person who, without lawful authority, shall enter, or attempt to enter, any private dwelling, building, or other property, or part of such dwelling, building, or other property, against the will of the lawful occupant or of the person lawfully in charge thereof, or being therein or thereon, without lawful authority to remain therein or thereon shall refuse to quit the same on the demand of the lawful occupant, or of the person lawfully in charge thereof, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000, imprisonment for not more than 180 days, or both. The presence of a person in any private dwelling, building, or other property that is otherwise vacant and boarded-up or otherwise secured in a manner that conveys that it is vacant and not to be entered, or displays a no trespassing sign, shall be prima facie evidence that any person found in such property has entered against the will of the person in legal possession of the property.

It can also be the basis for a civil lawsuit alleging trespass as well as “intrusion upon seclusion.”

Any viable criminal or civil defenses for both Nuzzi and her employer (which could be held accountable under principles of respondeat superior) could well depend on the status of the building as a home or a business.  Working against Nuzzi is the fact that she was not granted access after knocking for ten minutes.  Yet, there is a glimmer of a defense in the multipurpose dwelling.

126 thoughts on “Corey Lewandowski Threatens To Sue New York Magazine Over Reported Unlawful Entry By Reporter Olivia Nuzzi [Updated]”

  1. Warning: Off-topic mindless yammer, pages of it, below. Descend at your own risk to your sanity.

    1. David Benson – you have given us a perfect example of yammer. You do it well. More better than most, actually.

        1. David Benson – insert your definition. And if you are correct, my definition will be added by next year. Dictionaries are always at least a year behind.

            1. David Benson – I am very familiar with the OED. Which version are you working with and I did ask for your definition from it, which you have yet to supply. I spent years taking and teaching English and English Literature. I have spent many hours in the OED.

                1. David Benson – you made the claim, you have to back it up. Even in the sloppy academic world you were in they do that, sometimes. Because you have failed to back up your claim were are forced to assume:

                  You Are Making Stuff Up

                    1. David Benson – all you did was make a call to authority to the OED, but did not cut-and-paste the actual definition. A call to authority without a citation is a logical fallacy. I know the OED and it lists all possible variations of the word or phrase in chronological order, which is why I want you to cut-and-paste your definition from the OED.

                    2. David Benson – are you sure you had a Ph.D. and taught in a university? You know the game. You make the claim, you supply the citation. You cannot just say, Read Weart or Check the OED. That is the kind of sloppy work that got Michael Mann in trouble.

                      Now you are Just Making Stuff Up.

          1. David Benson – that is a poor response. Clearly, creative writing was not on your course schedule.

              1. David Benson – the modern Bedlam is broken into units. You would have to name the particular unit a person was supposed to be in. It is sloppy research.

  2. Because these people have the right to do anything they want. They’re entitled. Also impossibly lame, with the (apparent) defense that “I didn’t know walking into somebody’s house was illegal.”

  3. O.K./O.T.

    The US has illegally sent troops to Saudi Arabia to secure their borders for them. Our Green Berets are propping up a war which is killing and starving children. They are working to help a brutal dictator, MBS, take more land and keep his grip on power. That’s what our people are sent to die for and to kill for.

    “Like all administrations going back to 2001, the White House is relying on the the 9/11-era Authorization For Use of Military Force (AUMF) to give legal justification for its actions in the Arabian peninsula…” Which is really weird since Saudi Arabia’s govt. (or an important element of it) supported those who attacked us on 9/11. So tell me how this works again!

    At this point, shouldn’t the president and Congress be arrested according to the AUMF? Seriously, shouldn’t they? Further, shouldn’t the US be bombing such a brutal dictator who kills children? Wouldn’t that be humanitarian of us???? Instead, we are helping him kill children. What’s up with that?

    1. The US has illegally sent troops to Saudi Arabia to secure their borders for them.

      The term ‘illegal’ does not mean what you think it means. It means ‘contrary to law’, not ‘contrary to Jill’s feelz’.

      Our Green Berets are propping up a war which is killing and starving children.

      No one’s ever accused you of a fine sense of metaphor or much understanding of collective behavior.

      Actually, Trump is relying on his authority as Commander-in-Chief.

      At this point, shouldn’t the president and Congress be arrested according to the AUMF?

      By whom, you and ‘Tyler Durden’?

      1. Can you explain why we’re even involved in that war? And I know our involvement preceded Trump. So I’m not making any political argument here. I just don’t how U.S. interests are even at stake. And strangely the media rarely bothers to address this conflict. It only crops up occasionally ‘Page 10’ articles.

        1. It’s a low grade insurgency, of which there have been a number over the last 60 years. The causes are esoteric. On the one side is the more-or-less legal government, on the other a claque of insurrectionists subsidized by Iran. Saudi Arabia patronizes the government.

      1. Autumn oil is highly fungible and transported globally. It’s domestic price is influenced by international prices. Nor does any producer, shipper, or marketer have sufficient share to manipulate oil prices for very long.

        1. NIS – I hope you are right

          PS – Tyler Durden is the anti hero from the cult film “Fight Club”

          1. Yes, I did see Lee’s explalnation and I believe that is a large part of how we choose which dictator we love and which dictator we just hate, hate, hate! Yes, Bibi is getting a lot of push back. Maybe there really are people who don’t want a nuclear war afterall. I sure hope so, but I bet he will do something to provoke a response by Iran.

            Israel is increasingly desperate for war with Iran. The window is closing so I would expect Iran to have a “chemical weapons incident” or something coming up soon. That way, Trump, MBS and Bibi get the war they’ve all been dreaming of. I hope there are some sane powerful people left who will tell them they can’t do this.

            1. Its perfectly apposite that your idea of an authority is a soi-disant ‘stand up comedian’ who traffics in fiction.

              Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is a constitutional head of government, faces existential threats from nutty milllinarians. Neither he nor his people cease facing such threats because you hate his guts and theirs.

              I have to hand it to you. You choose the wrong side in every single conflict, and you do so emphatically. Some combination of stupidity and malice.

            2. Jill states–“Israel is increasingly desperate for war with Iran”

              This is so absurd that it defies the imagination and makes one wonder about the state of Jill’s thought process! A war with Iran would mean the death of thousands of Israelis! No sane person could believe that Bibi is desperate for this to happen!

        1. Caitlyn Johnstone:

          “The western empire is ruled by a loose transnational alliance of plutocrats and secretive government agencies. That loose alliance is your real government, and that government has the largest state media network in the history of civilization. The mass media propaganda machine of the western empire makes RT look like your grandmother’s Facebook wall.”

          Sorry, ladies, I just can’t take nonsense like that seriously.

          It’s about as credible as “Jewish bankers control the weather”.

          Have a great weekend!

  4. So here today we have Jon obsessing about a local NYC misdemeanor, while ignoring the big political news, that being more Trump lying. It amazes me that Jon worries about the splinter in someone else’s eye while ignoring the wooden post in his own eye.

    1. The professor devoted a great deal of effort to Comey and McCabe, setting them up for the big indictment that never came. In the process he raised the hopes of every Trumper who comments here.

      But instead this week developed like every week in Trump’s presidency; a series of missteps and bizarre revelations. But Giuliani’s interviews marked a new level of absurdity.

      When the week began Giuliani was going to use his pull to “negotiate an end to the Mueller probe”. Instead Giuliani is now considered more ridiculous than Trump!

      By now Professor Turley is in the same predicament as every Trump lawyer. They know this president is indefensible. Still I think the professor is basically a man of his integrity. And I appreciate his legal opinions.

      1. The professor devoted a great deal of effort to Comey and McCabe, setting them up for the big indictment that never came. I

        You’re happy to give Mueller unlimited time to gin up anything (21 months and counting). McCabe was humiliated and shoved out the door two months ago and Mr. Huber has been reviewing matters for a month and you figure it’s over. Thanks for the wish-casts. It’s been an education.

      2. This is JT’s MO, you should have been around when JT was writing about how Tray Gowdy had HRC on the ropes and ready to shut the prison doors behind her. After 12 hrs under the TV lights, Gowdy had nothing but flop sweat. And JT posted vacation pictures of Alaska.

        1. the good professor’s photos and post from Alaska were epic! Loved all of them – thanks for reminding me.

    2. ignoring the big political news,

      There is no ‘big political news’ today. The most consequential story may be unfolding in Korea, there’s a tiff between the U.S. and China over what China’s up to on the Horn of Africa, and Argentina is in the midst of yet another economic meltdown because Argentine economic policy is set by…Argentines.

    3. You don’t actually know what “lying” is, do you?

      And of course you would’ve been fine with a right-leaning reporter walking into an Obama staffer’s home. Sure you would.

  5. OT – comic relief – came across this earlier – Squeek is this you? =)

    Killing me Softly with His song updated

    I heard he built some cool cars , I heard they had style
    And so I put down a deposit and waited for a long while

    I felt all flushed with fever, embarrassed by the following the crowd
    I felt he took my money and burned it, for crying out loud
    I prayed that he would deliver but he just kept right on

    Strumming my pain with his tweets
    Killing me softly with his song

    1. No, that wasn’t me. I have been too busy out in the yard tending flowers, and planting stuff, and sitting with Snagglepuss on a leash. What a passive-aggressive cat he is! When I am ready to go in, and he isn’t, he just flops over on the ground and growls while I drag him in. I am surprised he doesn’t have grass stains sometimes.He is on a 25 foot wire thingy with another 12 feet or so of leash.

      But today, oh today was different! A few rain drops hit his head and he was like Nanook of the North dragging me back to the house and up the steps.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. Ha! most cats hate leashes and halters. I can just imagine Snagglepuss “collapsing” to make his point. I read the other day that dogs have masters and cats have staff =)

        1. Autumn – that is true unless you own a Chow Chow. They think like a cat. You give a command and you can see the wheels turning as they try to decide what’s in for them. If they decide nothing, they ignore the command. 😉 They have tools who are expected to respond to their barks.

  6. What a numb nut reporter. Entered his home w/o permission and then had the temerity to broadcast it? There is something seriously wrong these people who fancy themselves to be “real journalists” Authentic journalists adhere to a code of ethics.

  7. NEWSFLASH –

    A federal Judge implied that Rosenstein, Mueller et al. are abusing power and conducting a malicious prosecution.

    Duuh!!

    Who was the FBI Director in 2005 when Manafort began his life of crime? Robert Mueller.

    It looks like spillage on the Thin Blue Line or the Gestapo.
    __________

    “A Virginia federal judge expressed deep skepticism of the special counsel’s bank fraud case against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, during a court hearing Friday morning.

    “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III told Mueller’s prosecutors during the hearing.

    “You really care about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment,” Ellis added, according to The Washington Post.

    “C’mon, man,” he said at one point in the hearing, according to Fox News.”

    1. well – his full statement mocking Mueller was:

      “So your story is, we said this was what [the] investigation was about, but we are not bound by it and we were lying when we said it. C’mon, man ! ”

      He also said:

      “We don’t want anyone in this country with unfettered power. It’s unlikely you’re going to persuade me the special prosecutor has power to do anything he or she wants. The American people feel pretty strongly that no one has unfettered power.”

  8. Here’s the issue I thought we’d be discussing today. There seems to be universal consensus that Giuliani did Trump more harm than good.

    TWICE THIS WEEK TRUMP WAS REVEALED AS A LIAR

    FIRST WE LEARNED TRUMP WROTE HIS OWN MEDICAL REPORT

    THEN WE LEARNED TRUMP ‘REALLY’ PAID-OFF STORMY DANIES

    WHY SHOULD WE BELIEVE TRUMP ON RUSSIA..??????

    1. You mean ‘universal consensus’ among the selection of people the Times spoke to (or apparent consensus after their quotes were suitably cropped)?

    2. Oh no Peter! I can imagine the horror you must be feeling, realizing someone in government might have lied to you. It’s fortunate we have you to objectively weed out fact from fiction. And the lies that required ALL CAPs are truly concerning. Personal medical history/status and a paid NDA with a porn actress. Truly those are a solid foundation to question the presidency of Trump.

      Now given your newfound objective concern for all things truthful; would you mind taking a moment and apply that to other Presidents, cabinet members, Congress-people, to identify lies and their impact on this nation? I’m just trying to get some perspective so as to answer your question: WHY SHOULD WE BELIEVE TRUMP ON RUSSIA..??????

      1. To quote the late Rod Serling, host TV’s Twilight Zone, “The place is here. The time is now”.

        1. To quote the late Rod Serling, host TV’s Twilight Zone,

          It’s absolutely fitting you would cite The Twilight Zone when responding to a comment about your concern (or lack thereof) for objective truth.

    3. who cares about the bimbo issue. did deep enough you find sins. the witch hunt against trump has gone too far.

      1. If “the bimbo issue” were Trump’s only headache, no one would really care.

        But Trump’s association with Stormy Daniels reinforces the impression that he is drawn to overly-sexed women. This impression then casts doubts on Trump’s denials of hosting Russian prostitutes.

        1. This impression then casts doubts on Trump’s denials of hosting Russian prostitutes.

          Among people working at it, it does cast doubt.

          1. Autumn – according to Stormy, she was a reluctant participant. Not that she fought it, though.

          2. I was under the impression that most prostitutes and porn stars actually hate sex(and men in general).

    4. 3.9% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE!!!!
      51% APPROVAL RATINGS!!!!

      RUSSIA!! RUSSIA!! STORMY!! STORMY!!

          1. Don’t forget to also give Obama credit for ISIS and the North Korean, Syrian, Ukrainian, African, and Iranian dilemmas!

        1. whatever marky mark. You Dims need to figure out to divest yourselves from HRC IF you can. I don’t think a poll of Indies would show they wished she had won.

        2. Rasmussen and Reuters / Ipsos weren’t polling his family. They were polling likely voters and registered voters, respectively. Suck it up.

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