The worst thing in the world for Donald Trump would be if Ted Cruz was anything at all like him, as a human being. Trump, as we know, likes to sue anyone and anything for even the slightest insult to his personal honor, and the vast majority of his lawsuits (whether filed or threatened) are completely frivolous. This is especially true in the political context, where the First Amendment protects virtually all political speech, even political speech that is not purely factual.
However, there are limits to what the First Amendment protects, even in the political context. One of the things that is not protected is accusing your opponent of committing a felony with absolutely no basis for proof. And that is exactly what Donald Trump did last night. In his rambling, insane statement after having his butt handed to him in Wisconsin, Trump accused Cruz of a felony and then underlined the accusation by specifically claiming that what Cruz did was illegal:
Donald J. Trump withstood the onslaught of the establishment yet again. Lyin’ Ted Cruz had the Governor of Wisconsin, many conservative talk radio show hosts, and the entire party apparatus behind him. Not only was he propelled by the anti-Trump Super PAC’s spending countless millions of dollars on false advertising against Mr. Trump, but he was coordinating `with his own Super PAC’s (which is illegal) who totally control him. Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet— he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump. We have total confidence that Mr. Trump will go on to win in New York, where he holds a substantial lead in all the polls, and beyond. Mr. Trump is the only candidate who can secure the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination and ultimately defeat Hillary Clinton, or whomever is the Democratic nominee, in order to Make America Great Again.
The legal term for this is “libel per se,” which basically means that damages (always the trickiest part of a libel suit) are presumed. If Ted Cruz had said this with absolutely no proof or basis for proof, Donald Trump would have already sent one of his low-forehead lawyers to court to file suit against Cruz, and he would likely win.
Thankfully for Trump, Ted Cruz is nothing like him, and thus will just allow Trump’s statement to stand on its own merits as evidence of Trump’s unfitness for office, instead of also using it as a means to enrich himself and legally harass his political enemies.