Donald Trump (right) is suing his niece Mary Trump (middle) and The New York Times, alleging a plot to obtain tax records (Pictures: Mega/Reuters/CNN/Getty Images)
Former President Donald Trump has filed a $100million lawsuit against his niece Mary Trump and the New York Times over the newspaper’s 2018 reporting on his tax records.
The suit, filed in New York’s Dutchess County on Tuesday, alleges that three Times journalists ‘convinced’ Mary to ‘smuggle records out of her attorney’s office and turn them over to’ the newspaper.
It claims that the journalists ‘engaged in an insidious plot to obtain confidential and highly-sensitive records’.
The suit argues that the Times reporters’ alleged conspiracy with Mary violates a confidentiality agreement in a settlement of legal action regarding the will of Fred Trump, the ex-president’s father.
Documents that Mary provided to The Times were the centerpiece of a 2018 story that found that Trump ‘participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud’.
In response to the lawsuit , Mary called her uncle a ‘f***ing loser’.
‘He is going to throw anything against the wall he can. It’s desperation,’ Mary told the Daily Beast. ‘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.’
New York Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades said in an emailed statement to Axios that The Times plans to ‘vigorously defend’ itself and that the suit was ‘an attempt to silence independent news organizations’.
The suit names Times journalists David Barstow, Russell Buettner and Susanne Craig, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2019 for their reports revealing allegations that the Trump Organization dodged taxes.
Trump for years has fought efforts to get his tax documents released and continues to do so.
Last year, Trump tried to stop Mary from publishing her tell-all book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.
‘She’s not allowed to write a book,’ Trump told Axios. ‘You know, when we settled with her and her brother, who I do have a good relationship with – she’s got a brother, Fred, who I do have a good relationship with, but when we settled, she has a total… signed a nondisclosure.’
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