Former President Donald Trump is going on the offensive, filing a $100 million lawsuit against the New York Times and his niece, Mary Trump, as he seeks to withhold disclosing his tax information.
Trump filed the lawsuit in the Hudson Valley accusing both his niece and the Times of “tortiously breaching and/or interfering with his contractual rights and otherwise maliciously conspiring against him” as they continue requesting a report on his 2018 taxes.
The lawsuit alleges that the Times coerced Mary Trump to "smuggle records out of her attorney’s office and turn them over to the Times,” despite a confidentiality agreement.
It is alleged that Mary Trump had access to "more than 40,000 pages of highly sensitive, proprietary, private and confidential documents, including, but not limited to, financial documents, accountings, tax records, income tax returns, bank statements, legal documents, and other related documents.”
The lawsuit claims the documents were deemed confidential as a part of a settlement agreement.
“The defendants engaged in an insidious plot to obtain confidential and highly-sensitive records which they exploited for their own benefit and utilized as a means of falsely legitimizing their publicized works,” the lawsuit filed in Dutchess County states.
“The defendants’ actions were motivated by a personal vendetta and their desire to gain fame, notoriety, acclaim and a financial windfall and were further intended to advance their political agenda.”
In the lawsuit, which names Mary Trump, Times reporters David Barstow, Susanne Craig, and Russ Buettner as defendants, the embattled former president is demanding at least $100 million in alleged damages.
Mary Trump, the daughter of the former president’s late older brother Fred Trump, Jr., dismissed the lawsuit in a statement, calling the move an act of desperation as the disgraced former president continues to avoid disclosing his taxes.
“I think he is a loser, and he is going to throw anything against the wall he can. It's desperation,” she stated. “The walls are closing in and he is throwing anything against the wall that he thinks will stick. As is always the case with Donald, he'll try and change the subject.”
In a separate statement, the Times - which earned a Pulitzer Prize award for its coverage of Trump’s questionable finances in 2019 - also called out the former president’s move to file a multi-million dollar lawsuit.
"Coverage of Donald Trump's taxes helped inform citizens through meticulous reporting on a subject of overriding public interest,” a spokesperson said. This lawsuit is an attempt to silence independent news organizations and we plan to vigorously defend against it.”
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