“No more dramatic courtroom scene has ever been enacted,” reported the Syracuse Herald on May 22, 1915, as it covered “the greatest libel suit in history,” a battle fought between former President Theodore Roosevelt and the leader of the Republican party.
Roosevelt, the boisterous and mostly beloved legendary American hero, had accused his former friend and ally, now turned rival, William Barnes of political corruption. The furious Barnes responded by suing Roosevelt for an enormous sum that could have financially devastated him. The spectacle of Roosevelt defending himself in a lawsuit captured the imagination of the nation, and more than fifty newspapers sent reporters to cover the trial. Accounts from inside and outside the courtroom combined with excerpts from the trial transcript give us Roosevelt in his own words and serve as the heart of Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense.
Dan Abrams is the Chief Legal Analyst for ABC News and the host of top-rated cable series Live PD on A&E Network. He was previously the co-anchor of ABC's Nightline, host of The Abrams Report and the acclaimed Verdict with Dan Abrams on MSNBC, as well as the long-time Chief Legal Correspondent for NBC News. In those capacities, Dan has covered all of the highest profile cases of the past two decades. Dan also served as General Manager of MSNBC, where he presided over a period of unprecedented growth, with ratings and profits each increasing well over 50% during his tenure.
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