Former President Donald Trump sued The New York Times, three of its reporters, and his niece Mary on Tuesday over the Times’ story on his leaked tax documents.
Trump’s lawsuit accuses the Times of coercing his niece into illegally providing the paper with his tax documents. Damages sought from both the Times and his niece are “to be determined at trial, but believed to be no less than One Hundred Million Dollars,” the suit says according to The Daily Beast.
“More to come, including on other people, and Fake News media,” Trump told the Beast in a statement on the lawsuit.
Mary Trump and the Times both dismissed the former president’s lawsuit.
“I think he is a f***ing loser, and he is going to throw anything against the wall he can,” Mary Trump said. “It’s desperation. The walls are closing in and he is throwing anything against the wall that will stick. As is always the case with Donald, he’ll try and change the subject.”
A spokesperson for the Times told the Beast: “The Times’ coverage of Donald Trump’s taxes helped inform citizens through meticulous reporting on a subject of overriding public interest. This lawsuit is an attempt to silence independent news organizations and we plan to vigorously defend against it.”
The lawsuit sprang out of a story the Times published in October 2018 based on a cache of Trump’s tax documents. The lawsuit says the Times and reporters David Barstow, Russ Buettner, and Susanne Craig are “directly responsible” for Mary Trump handing over the tax documents in violation of a 2001 confidentiality agreement. The lawsuit cites Mary Trump’s appearance on The Daily Beast’s “The New Abnormal” podcast in which she says Craig pushed her to hand over the documents.
“Yeah, um, I’m actually really proud of that,” Mary Trump said during her appearance on the show. “But I have to be honest with you, I didn’t even remember I had [the Confidential Records]. It’s entirely down to the brilliant Susanne Craig for, one, reminding me that I had them and, two, so effectively and tenaciously trying to convince — I mean it took her months before I did — so it’s entirely down to her.”
Last year, Mary Trump released a book on the Trump family which had sparked another legal battle over the 2001 confidentiality agreement. Robert Trump, former President Trump’s younger brother who died last year, sued Mary to stop the release of the book. Dutchess County Supreme Court Judge Hal Greenwald sided with Mary at the time, lifting a stay and allowing the book to be published.
The book was marketed as containing “damning” and embarrassing details about the Trump family. It also revealed Mary Trump as the primary source for the Times’ story on former President Trump’s taxes. As The Daily Wire reported at the time:
The book will reveal that Mary Trump was the primary source for a New York Times investigation into the president’s taxes. The investigation revealed that President Trump had inherited just over $400 million from his father. Mary Trump was source for the private tax documents obtained by the Times, according to The Daily Beast.
The book will also include portions of damning conversations Mary Trump has had with the president’s sister, retired federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry. Longtime divisions within the Trump family have been masked by a series of non-disclosure agreements and other members of the family keeping a low public profile. The book is expected to give an insider perspective into the inter-family lawsuit of 2000.
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