Former President Donald Trump sued his estranged niece, The New York Times, and three of its reporters for conspiring in an “insidious plot” to obtain his confidential tax records and exploit them in published material.
The lawsuit claims Mary Trump breached a non-disclosure agreement by providing Times reporters with financial records she received in a dispute over Fred Trump’s estate. According to the filing, reporters endlessly pursued Trump’s niece and persuaded her to “to smuggle the records out of her attorney’s office.”
A Times story in 2018 published the documents, and Mary Trump admitted she was the source in a book published last year.
The suit claims 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.”
Mary Trump and the Times 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 former president’s niece responded to the suit in a statement.
“It’s desperation. The walls are closing in and he is throwing anything against the wall that he thinks will stick. As is always the case with Donald, he’ll try and change the subject.”
One of the reporters named in the suit, Susanne Craig, responded on Twitter.
“One of the Times reporters, Craig, responded in a tweet: “I knocked on Mary Trump’s door. She opened it. I think they call that journalism,” Craig tweeted.
Trump seeks $100 million in damages.