> The 1st amendment does not legally "protect" you for lying. When you are saying "I'm an engineer", but the law defines
Donald Trump is an asshole and incompetent.
Do you think Trump would consider that statement untrue? A lie? There are all sorts of things that government officials have called "lying" (including the allegation that Clinton had sexual contact with Monica - Hillary called that a lie). Did King George and his government consider the things that Jefferson, Jackson, and Franklin said about him to be true, or would King George say Thomas Jefferson was lying?
It is precisely BECAUSE government defines words and tries to define truth that freedom of speech MUST protect statements that the politicians consider "lying". If you are only allowed to say things that the government agrees are true, that's not freedom of speech at all.
Think about that for a moment. The two options are:
A) Free speech only means you can say things that the government agrees are true.
B) Free speech includes the right to say things that the government doesn't consider true (including 9/11 theories).
Option A is no freedom at all - even without the first amendment, the government wouldn't prosecute anyone for statements they agree with. If 1st amendment only covered government-approved "truth", it would be pointless to even write the amendment down at all.
There is, however, a slight glimmer of truth to what you've said. The first amendment prohibits *government* from making speech a *crime*. It does not prohibit a private person from suing for damages caused by libelous speech. In a libel suit, truth is a defense. So truth matters - but that's in a civil suit, where some other citizen is suing based on damages - the first amendment's restriction on the government doesn't directly apply.
That's why most states don't have a criminal libel offense, and those that do rarely prosecute, because in most instances prosecution by the government is barred by the first amendment.