Trump files $100 million suit against niece, New York Times over bombshell tax story
Former U.S. President Donald Trump
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump filed a $100 million lawsuit Tuesday against his niece, Mary Trump, and the New York Times, claiming they conspired to obtain his tax returns for the paper’s Pulitzer-winning story on his undisclosed finances.
The lawsuit asserts that Mary Trump and three New York Times reporters — Susanne Craig, David Barstow, and Russell Buettner — were engaged in what the suit calls an “insidious plot” and an “extensive crusade” to obtain Trump’s taxes.
The lawsuit states that the defendants plotted to steal confidential and sensitive records, which they used for their benefit as well as falsely legitimizing publicized works.
Craig, Barstow and Buettner received a Pulitzer Prize in 2019 for explanatory reporting for their series of stories, which provided the public with an unprecedented look at the former president’s finances.
Mary Trump claims that she gave Trump’s tax returns and interviews to The New York Times. This was in addition to her 2020 bestseller, “Too Much and Never Enough” about her uncle. In the book, the daughter of Trump’s brother, Fred Jr., paints an “authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him.
Mary Trump said that her uncle was desperate in a statement.
Trump said, “I believe he’s a loser and will throw whatever against the wall that he can.” It’s desperation. He is throwing whatever he can against the wall to make it stick,” she stated. Donald will try to change the topic, as is his usual behavior.
The New York Times stated in a statement that it will challenge the suit.
Danielle Rhoades Ha spoke on behalf of the newspaper, saying that Trump’s tax coverage helped citizens be informed through careful reporting. The lawsuit is an attempt by the government to suppress independent news outlets. We will vigorously fight it.”
In New York State court, Dutchess County where Robert Trump’s attorneys filed unsuccessful claims to prevent Mary Trump’s book from being published, the suit was filed.
The 27-page suit alleges the reporter “relentlessly sought out his niece… and convinced her to smuggle the records out of her attorney’s office and turn them over to The Times.”
The suit stated that Craig, who was aware of the Estate Actions litigation proceedings, ordered Mary Trump to obtain the documents from Farrell Fritz (her prior attorney) and to “smuggle” them out.
Mary Trump was accused of breaking a confidentiality contract that forbids her from releasing financial details regarding the family under terms of Fred Trump Sr.’s Estate settlement.
According to the suit, his niece and reporters “were motivated by a personal vendetta” and “a desire to achieve fame, notoriety and a financial winfall” as well as to advance their political agenda.