Trump sues niece, NY Times over records behind '18 tax story

On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump sued his niece and The New York Times for a 2018 article about his family's wealth tax practices. It was partially based on confidential documents that she gave to The Times reporters.

Trump sues niece, NY Times over records behind '18 tax story

The lawsuit filed by Donald Trump in New York State Court accuses Mary Trump, of violating a settlement agreement, in which she disclosed tax records that she had received in dispute over Fred Trump's estate.

The suit accuses Susanne Craig and Russell Buettner of persistently seeking out Mary Trump to be a source for information and convincing her turn over documents. According to the suit, the reporters knew that the settlement agreement prohibited her from disclosing documents.

The Times' story challenged Trump's claim of self-made wealth. It documented how Trump's father Fred had given him at most $413 million over the years, including tax avoidance schemes.

Mary Trump was identified in a book last year as the source for the documents given to the Times.

Trump claims that Mary Trump, the Times and its journalists "were motivated... by a personal vendetta against him and a desire for a political agenda."

According to the lawsuit, defendants "engaged with an insidious plot in order to obtain confidential and highly sensitive records which they exploited and used as a way of falsely legitimizing and their publicized works."

Mary Trump spoke out about her uncle to NBC News. She said that he was a loser and would do anything to get rid of the wall. It's desperation. He is throwing everything he can against the wall to make it stick. Donald will try to change the subject, as is his usual behavior.

Danielle Rhoads Ha of the Times spoke out against the lawsuit, saying that it was an attempt to silence independent news organizations.

She said that Trump's tax coverage in the Times "helped inform citizens by meticulous reporting on a topic of overriding public concern."

Craig , one of the Times reporters, responded to this tweet: "I knocked at Mary Trump's doors. She opened it. That is journalism, I believe."

Trump seeks $100 million in damages.

Trump's lawsuit was filed almost one year after Mary Trump sued him. Trump and his two siblings had allegedly cheated Mary Trump out of millions over many decades, while keeping her out the family business.

This case is currently pending.

Mary Trump, 56 is the sister of Donald Trump Jr. Mary Trump was just 16 years old at the time.

Trump's lawsuit is limited to the Times' 2018 story. This Pulitzer Prize winner in explanatory reporting, was the focus of Trump's lawsuit. The Times' 2018 story on Trump's taxes is not mentioned. It found that he had paid no federal income tax in 10 of his previous 15 years.

According to the lawsuit Mary Trump was able to acquire more than 40,000 pages "highly sensitive and proprietary, private, confidential documents" via a legal case involving Fred Trump.

Trump's lawsuit stated that the documents include financial records, accountings and tax returns, bank statements and legal papers, as well as financial records and financial records.

Mary Trump and her family signed a settlement agreement in 2001. It contained confidentiality and non-disclosure provisions that prohibited them from sharing information regarding Fred Trump's estate, including newspaper stories. The agreement also covered Fred's estate, Mary Anne Trump who died in 2000.

Trump repeatedly criticized the Times during his presidency, calling it the "failing New York Times." He also noted in the lawsuit how the 2018 article was viewed online more than any other Times article and that New York Times Company stock prices rose 7.4% the week after its publication.

According to the Times, Donald Trump and his father evaded gift and inheritance taxes through methods such as setting up a sham company and undervaluing their assets before tax authorities. The Times claims that its report was based upon more than 100,000 pages financial documents, including confidential tax returns of the father and his businesses.

Mary Trump's book "Too Much and Never Enough" was published during Donald Trump's reelection campaign. Robert Trump's brother tried unsuccessfully to block publication of the book, citing the 2001 settlement.

Mary Trump won the case. A judge ruled in her favor and said that the confidentiality clauses, "viewed within the context of the current Trump family circumstance in 2020, would offend public policies as a prior restraint upon protected speech."

Mary Trump shared the story of how she provided the financial records for her family that were used to support the Times' reporting. It sold over 1.3 million copies within its first week, climbing to No. The book was No. 1 on the Times bestsellers list.

Mary Trump stated that she did not feel the non-disclosure agreement was necessary for the publication of her book. "What I have to say, is too important," she said in an interview.

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