Lawsuit filed in obscure suburban court seeks $100 million damages for Pulitzer-winning investigation
Former President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against The New York Times, three of its reporters, and his niece—claiming they hatched an “insidious plot” to obtain his private records for a story about his tax history, the Daily Beast reported.
The lawsuit alleges that the newspaper convinced Mary Trump to “smuggle records out of her attorney’s office and turn them over to the Times” despite a confidentiality agreement she signed in 2001 while settling a legal battle over the will of Frederick Trump, Donald’s father and Mary’s grandfather.
The suit, filed Tuesday in Dutchess County, New York, by attorney Alina Habba, seeks damages “in an amount to be determined at trial, but believed to be no less than One Hundred Million Dollars” from both Mary Trump and the Times.
It follows a suit filed by Charles Harder on behalf of Donald Trump’s brother Robert to try and stop Mary Trump and publisher Simon & Schuster from releasing her memoir, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.
Judge Hal Greenwald ruled in that case that the 2001 confidentiality agreement had been too vaguely defined to stop her from writing about the sitting president and noted that her publisher had not been a signatory to that agreement. Robert Trump died in August 2020.
Times reporters David Barstow, Susanne Craig, and Russ Buettner—who won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2019 for what they revealed about the taxes the former president had refused to disclose, and how little he’d paid in federal income taxes—also weren’t party to the confidentiality agreement Mary Trump had signed in 2001. But the ex-president’s new suit claims they were “directly responsible” for it allegedly being broken, citing Mary Trump’s interview with Molly Jong-Fast on The Daily Beast’s The New Abnormal podcast and claiming the reporters were “motivated, at least in part, by their actual malice” toward Trump:
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