The Trump family is filing a request to block the publication of a tell-all book after an initial request to a New York City Surrogate’s Court was turned down due to lack of jurisdiction.
On Thursday, Surrogate’s Court Judge Peter J. Kelly advised Robert Trump, brother to President Trump, to take his request to block the publication of a book by Mary Trump, the president’s niece, elsewhere, according to The New York Times.
“Insofar as the petition seeks a declaratory judgment, this forum is presumptively improper,” Mr. Kelly wrote. Robert Trump’s attorney Charles Harder says he will take the case to the New York State Supreme Court.
Mary Trump’s lawyer Theodore J. Boutrous Jr. said that the court had “promptly and correctly held that it lacks jurisdiction to grant the Trump family’s baseless request.”
“Democracy thrives on the free exchange of ideas,” he continued. “Neither this court nor any other has authority to violate the Constitution by imposing a prior restraint on core political speech.”
Simon & Schuster is scheduled to publish Mary Trump’s book, “Too Much And Never Enough,” on July 28. The book is a “revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him,” according to the book’s description on Amazon. “Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald’s only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world’s health, economic security, and social fabric,” it continues.
The book is expected to reveal a host of inter-family quarrels and conversations critical of the president ahead of the November election. Mary is also expected to out herself as the primary source of a New York Times investigation into the president’s tax history.
Harder filed the suit in the Surrogate’s Court, which handles decedents and estates, because of a 2001 agreement between the children of Fred Trump, who died in 1999, and Mary and Fred Trump III, the children of Fred Trump II, who died from alcoholism in 1981. The 2001 agreement stemmed from an ugly dispute over Fred Trump’s estate, and the deal included a clause that the Surrogate’s Court would be used for future disagreements.
Mary and Fred III accused their aunt and uncles of altering their grandfather’s will and cutting them out of their father’s share of the estate. In the middle of the legal battle, President Trump and his siblings cut off medical payments for Fred III’s son who has cerebral palsy.
Now, the Trump family is again split in a legal battle over Mary’s upcoming book, which Harder says violates non-disclosure agreements. The lines are drawn similar to the 2000-2001 fight except that Fred III has distanced himself from his sister.
“I have learned only recently that my younger sister, Mary, is writing a tell-all book which is advertised to be highly critical of the Trump family and especially of our uncle, Donald J. Trump,” he told The New York Times. “My wife, children and I have a strong relationship with our extended family and have had no involvement or interest in the preparation of this book.”
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