Former President Donald J. Trump sued on Tuesday, accusing Mary Trump and three Times reporters of conspiring to publish information about her tax records.
Former President Donald J. Trump on Tuesday called Mary L. Trump and three of his journalists have been accused of conspiring in a “fraudulent conspiracy” to improperly obtain his confidential tax records and to exploit their use in news articles and a book.
The lawsuit claims that Times reporters, as part of an attempt to obtain tax records, relentlessly sought Trump’s niece, and persuaded her to “smuggle the records out of her attorney’s office” and send her turned back. many times.
According to the lawsuit, that action violated a confidentiality agreement that the former president’s father, Fred C. The litigation was part of the settlement involving the will of Trump, who died in 1999.
Mr. Trump’s lawsuit, filed in the State Supreme Court in Duchess County, NY, accuses Spaper, his reporters, and Mrs. Trump of “being motivated by a personal vendetta and his desire to obtain fame, notoriety, acclaim and a financial gain.” The allegation was made and there were further intentions to further his political agenda.”
The lawsuit comes as the former president continues to falsely argue that the 2020 election was stolen from him, and as his family company, the Trump Organization, and its longtime chief financial officer, Alan H. Weiselberg has been charged with avoidance by Manhattan prosecutors. Taxes on employee allowances that should have been reported as income. He has pleaded not guilty.
During his 2016 presidential campaign, Mr Trump promised to make his tax returns public, as presidential candidates, including President Biden, have done for at least 40 years. But Mr Trump then declined to release him, citing an ongoing audit. The secrecy surrounding his taxes sparked criticism and questions that plagued him throughout his presidency.
The documents Ms Trump provided were the basis of a 2018 article that, according to the lawsuit by The Times, called Trump’s history of tax dosing and outright fraud.
The Times report cast doubt on Mr Trump’s claim that he was a self-made billionaire who rose to wealth and fame with a little help from his father, a real estate developer. Instead, the investigation found, Mr Trump inherited the equivalent of at least $413 million, much of it through “suspicious tax schemes”.
The Times reported that Mr Trump and his siblings set up a fake corporation to hide millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, and that Mr Trump helped his father take an unfair tax deduction of more than millions. .
In 2019, three Times journalists – David Barstow, Susan Craig and Russ Buettner – were honored a pulitzer prize For explanatory reporting for that article and others about Mr. Trump’s taxes. Announcing the award, the Pulitzer judges called the work “an exhaustive 18-month investigation” that “unearthed a tax-evading business empire.”
In a statement on Tuesday evening, The Times defended the organization’s reporting on Mr Trump’s taxes and said it plans to fight the lawsuit.
“The Times’ coverage of Donald Trump’s taxes helped inform the public through careful reporting on a topic that overrides public interest,” the statement said. “This lawsuit is an attempt to silence independent news organizations and we plan to vigorously defend against it.”
Mr. Trump’s lawsuit also claims that Mrs. Trump made “unauthorized disclosure of confidential records to The Times” in a book published last year, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man”. described. The suit says she also made statements to the media after the book’s publication, “demonstrating her blatant and blatant disregard for her confidentiality obligations under the settlement agreement.”
According to the lawsuit, the lawsuit arising out of the will of Fred Trump and brought by several family members, including Mary Trump, was settled in 2001 on terms that included “confidentiality and non-disclosure obligations” binding on the parties.
Ms Trump could not immediately be contacted for comment on the lawsuit.
Mr Trump eventually lost a bitter and protracted legal battle that reached the US Supreme Court twice, resulting in Manhattan prosecutors obtaining tax and other financial records from his accountants.
Taxes are also at the center of Trump’s family business and the ongoing criminal case against Weiselberg, who is accused of evading taxes on about $1.7 million in company allowances. A trial is due to begin next summer. Prosecutors at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, who have spent years investigating the case, have not accused Trump of wrongdoing.