Trump Accuses His Niece and NY Times of Conspiracy for Revealing His Tax Returns
Former President Donald Trump accuses his niece and The New York Times of deceit and conspiracy to obtain his tax returns in a lawsuit he filed Tuesday.
The lawsuit asks for $100 million in compensation after the former president says he was victimized by an “insidious plot” by Mary Trump and three New York Times reporters.
Their reporting led the newspaper to win a 2019 Pulitzer Prize for publishing details of Trump’s finances that he had tried to keep secret.
Trump’s lawsuit says Mary Trump and reporters Susanne Craig, David Barstow, and Russell Buettner interfered with his “contractual rights.”
“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,” the lawsuit filed in Dutchess County, N.Y., says.
The “contractual rights” appear to refer to Mary Trump’s agreement not to publicly release information about her family’s finances under a settlement of her father’s estate.
Mary Trump authored a best-selling book last year about her uncle entitled “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.” She admitted that she gave Trump’s tax returns to The New York Times.
“I think he is a loser, and he is going to throw anything against the wall he can,” Mary Trump said in a statement after the lawsuit was filed Tuesday. “It’s desperation. 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.”
The New York Times said it stands by its story and will challenge the lawsuit.
“The Times’s coverage of Donald Trump’s taxes helped inform citizens through meticulous reporting on a subject of overriding public interest,” says a statement from the newspaper. “This lawsuit is an attempt to silence independent news organizations and we plan to vigorously defend against it.”
The lawsuit is the second major legal action involving the former president within days.
A court filing this week in a defamation lawsuit against the Trump campaign indicates the former president’s advisers knew they were lying when they claimed the last presidential election was fraught with voter fraud.
The filing in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia says the Trump campaign advanced the false conspiracy theory in a desperate effort to appease the former president and to hang on to the presidency.
They first announced the conspiracy allegations two weeks after the election during a press conference at the Republican Party’s headquarters in Washington.
Donald Trump’s lawyers at the press conference said a voting machine company conspired with an election software firm, liberal financier George Soros and the government of Venezuela to defraud Trump of the presidency.
The filing does not conclusively say Trump knew the allegations were false. However, he did repeat them in televised speeches and interviews.
The filing also gives evidence that before the Nov. 19 press conference, Trump’s staff acknowledged in an internal memo they knew their allegations were false against voting machine company Dominion Voting Systems and software company Smartmatic. They also said in the memo they knew Dominion had no direct ties to Venezuela or to Soros.