Trump sues niece, New York Times for $100M over tax story

Former President Donald Trump filed a $100 million lawsuit against his niece Mary Trump and the New York Times over the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into his tax returns.

“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 says, alleging they were “motivated by a personal vendetta.”

The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in Dutchess County, New York, names New York Times reporters Susanne Craig, David Barstow, and Russ Buettner as conducting an “extensive crusade to obtain Donald J. Trump’s confidential tax records.”

The three journalists won the Pulitzer Prize in 2019 for their investigation into the Trump family’s finances, which the Pulitizer Board claimed “debunked his claims of self-made wealth and revealed a business empire riddled with tax dodges.”

The story alleged that at the time, Trump received an amount of money from his father’s real estate empire worth around $400 million in today’s terms, primarily through shady tax schemes.

Mary Trump is the daughter of the eldest Trump brother, Fred Trump Jr., who died of alcoholism in 1981.

In her memoir released in 2020, Mary revealed that she was the primary source of information in the New York Times investigation.

Trump’s lawsuit claims that the New York Times reporters “relentlessly sought out his niece, Mary L. Trump, and convinced her to smuggle the records out of her attorney’s office and turn them over to The Times.”

One of the reporters named in the lawsuit, Susanne Craig, tweeted a response to the lawsuit’s assertions saying, “I knocked on Mary Trump’s door. She opened it. I think they call that Journalism.”

The lawsuit claims that by providing information to The Times, Mary Trump violated a non-disclosure agreement she signed in 2001 after a settlement over the estate of Donald Trump’s father, Fred Trump Sr.

Trump is seeking $100 million in compensation, plus all of the proceeds from Mary’s book.

Mary Trump recently said that her uncle Donald is a “loser,” adding that the lawsuit is nothing more than “desperation.”

“The walls are closing in, and he is throwing anything against the wall that he thinks will stick,” she said.