Former President Donald Trump is suing his niece Mary Trump and The New York Times over a story three years ago that detailed his finances and tax records, which his attorneys say was based on confidential documents.
Trump and his attorneys filed the $100-million suit on Tuesday in New York’s Supreme Court.
The legal complaint says The New York Times and niece Mary Trump had launched an “extensive crusade” to expose his finances and tax practices in the 2018 story.
The filing alleges that Mary Trump and three Times reporters formed an “insidious plot” to expose Trump’s undisclosed finances. It also names the reporters – Susanne Craig, David Barstow and Russell Buettner – as defendants, along with 10 “John Does” and 10 “ABC Corporations.”
The Times story three years ago, which was published with Mary Trump’s assistance, said Donald Trump inherited most of his wealth from father and real estate mogul Fred Trump — partly through tax avoidance schemes.
Trump’s suit accuses the Times reporters of relentlessly pressuring Mary Trump to turn over confidential records from her attorney’s office and turn them over to Craig, Barstow and Buettner.
Turning over the financial documents violated a 2001 confidentiality agreement that involved Fred Trump’s will and estate, the complaint says. Fred Trump died in 1999.
Donald Trump’s brother, Robert, tried to sue Mary Trump to prevent her tell-all book Too Much and Never Enough from being published last year.
The Times article won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2019.
Donald Trump has been fighting for years to keep his tax returns private, arguing that he cannot release them publicly because he is being audited. New York City’s district attorney has been given access to some of his returns as part of a grand jury investigation into Trump’s business practices.