Former President Donald Trump is fighting back against The New York Times and his long-hostile niece in a lawsuit over a 2018 Times report concerning his taxes.
Trump has resisted attempts to make public his tax returns. Although a federal judge has ordered that a House panel have access to Trump’s tax returns, the billionaire is fighting that ruling, with the next hearing in the case scheduled for November.
The crux of the former president’s legal argument in the lawsuit is that his niece violated a confidentiality agreement that prevented her from releasing any details of the Trump family’s finances.
Mary Trump responded to the lawsuit with disdain.
“I think he is a f***ing loser, and he is going to throw anything against the wall he can,” she said, according to The Daily Beast.
“It’s desperation. The walls are closing in and he is throwing anything against the wall that will stick. As is always the case with Donald, he’ll try and change the subject,” she said.
The lawsuit portrayed the former president as the victim of those out to get him.
Does Donald Trump have a good chance of winning this lawsuit?
“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,” it said.
“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 said.
The lawsuit painted the Times’ 2018 report outlining what it said was Trump’s financial history as a conspiracy in which anti-Trump reporters took advantage of the fault lines within the Trump family to get what they wanted.
“A group of journalists with the New York Times, in the middle of an extensive crusade to obtain Donald J Trump’s confidential tax records, 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,” the lawsuit said.
It said the reporters and Mary Trump knew they were breaking the rules.
“All the while, the parties knew full well that their actions were wrongful, as evidenced by their insistence on communicating through ‘burner’ phones and The Times initial claims that the records were obtained from an “anonymous” source,” the lawsuit said.
“The Times attempted to capitalize on their receipt of the confidential record through their publication of various news articles; Mary L. Trump eventually followed suit and, in an ill-conceived effort to profit from these same events, published a book revealing her as the source of the unauthorized disclosure and providing a detailed account of the defendants’ wrongful conduct,” it said.
The lawsuit said that what happened to the former president could happen to anyone, and it deserved punishment.
“Donald J. Trump’s public service to this great country aside, it is of paramount importance to note that he is a private citizen who is entitled to the same contractual rights, privileges and protections as any other person,” it said. “Yet, the defendants, through their tortious conduct, sought to deprive him of these basic, inherent rights.
“As a result, the fruits of the defendants’ illicit actions were unjustly and inequitably obtained and Donald J. Trump has suffered significant damages as a direct result of the defendants’ tortious conduct.”
The lawsuit said Trump suffered damages “believed to be no less than one hundred million dollars.”