Former President Donald Trump sued The New York Times, several of its reporters and his niece Mary L. Trump on Tuesday following a series of bombshell reports about his tax records.
The Daily Beast first reported the court filing in Dutchess County, New York, on Tuesday. The suit alleges the Times worked with Mary Trump to “smuggle records out of her attorney’s office” as part of an “insidious plot” to obtain his private files.
Court records show that Mary Trump, the Times and three of its reporters who worked on the stories are named as defendants: Susanne Craig, David Barstow and Russ Buettner (Barstow no longer works at the Times). The three journalists won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2019 for their work probing Trump and his businesses’ long history of using suspect tax schemes to avoid paying millions of dollars to the government.
The suit names Mary Trump in part because she signed a nondisclosure agreement in 2001, although a previous suit related to that document declared the agreement too vague to stop her from writing a book about her uncle.
Trump is seeking damages of no less than $100 million.
The former president broke longstanding precedent during his tenure in the White House by refusing to make public his tax returns and filing many legal challenges to prevent their release. Those returns, however, are closer to being in the hands of Congress and are already with prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The DA’s office has spent months investigating potential fraud by Trump and his company, although no charges have been filed.
Mary Trump told the Daily Beast on Tuesday that the suit was an act of “desperation,” using some choice words to declare her uncle was “throwing anything against the wall that will stick.”
“I think he is a fucking loser,” she told the news site. “As is always the case with Donald, he’ll try and change the subject.”