Donald Trump’s niece Mary Trump said her uncle’s lawsuit over her role as a source for an award-winning New York Times expose on his tax avoidance violates a New York law against frivolous litigation. The 2018 Times report, which won a Pulitzer Prize, detailed how Trump’s real estate business claimed suspiciously low valuations on properties to minimize tax liability and also revealed that he inherited more than $400 million from his father, contrary to Trump’s frequent assertion that he only received a small loan of around $1 million.
Bloomberg reports that the suit brought by Donald Trump in September alleges his niece’s collaboration with the Times violated the confidentiality clause of a 2001 settlement agreement that resolved a Trump family spat over the wills of Donald Trump’s parents. “Mr. Trump wields the confidentiality provision as if it were virtually unlimited in scope and time, precluding speech on issues that became of central public concern once he first ran for President of the United States,” Mary Trump’s attorney, Theodore Boutrous, said in the filing.
Mary Trump’s complicated relationship with her uncle intensified their already bitter longstanding family feud after she revealed her plan to publish her 2020 book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” with the goal of helping to prevent his reelection. Her work with the Times was detailed in the memoir, and the documents she unearthed later formed the basis for her earlier fraud suit against Trump.
I’m seeing a lot of pieces about getting through the holidays with people who hold different political views from yours. Here’s mine: “How to Spend the Holidays with Fascists Who Disagree with You: Don’t”
— Mary L Trump (@MaryLTrump) November 24, 2021
Donald Trump’s lawsuit is “a transparent effort to punish his niece and these journalists for disseminating truthful information of great public interest concerning Mr. Trump’s fitness for the office and aspects of his personal and financial history that he had long sought to hide,” Mary Trump’s filing said.
I was going to write about some of the latest news but, honestly, between SCOTUS, the school shooting, and “Donald did something shocking but not surprising,” I’m not quite up to it.
Please post some pictures of art that gets you through tough times.https://t.co/JRA5NhOq5I
— Mary L Trump (@MaryLTrump) December 2, 2021
New York’s Anti Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation statute (known as an anti-SLAPP law) was amended and broadened by state lawmakers in 2020. Mary Trump’s filing outlined various lawsuits her uncle filed against journalists and other critics over the years, allegedly to silence them. “Mr. Trump is, in other words, a serial SLAPP artist, and this baseless lawsuit is more of the same,” Mary Trump said in her filing.
“Mr. Trump has a long history of filing lawsuits simply to chill freedom of speech and of the press, and this is more of the same. The First Amendment and New York law forbid such abusive lawsuits.”
— Ted Boutrous (@BoutrousTed) December 3, 2021
Donald Trump has accused others of violating the same New York law, including former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos and New York advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, both of whom sued him for defamation after he denied allegations that he’d sexually assaulted them. Zervos dropped her suit without explanation after he made the claim, while Carroll’s case is pending. Trump has denied wrongdoing in both cases.
I will never give up, I will never give in, I will never forget, I will NEVER surrender.
— E. Jean Carroll (@ejeancarroll) December 2, 2021