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The New York Times is a defendant in a $100 million lawsuit filed by former President Trump’s attorneys, accusing the newspaper company of illegally sharing his tax return documents, according to the Daily Caller.
Former President Trump’s niece, Mary Trump is also named as a co-defendant.
Susanne Craig, David Barstow and Russell Buettner, all reporters for the New York Times, are being accused by Trump of using coercion to extract his tax documents from Mary Trump in 2018.
“The brazenness of the defendants’ actions cannot be understated,” reads the lawsuit.
“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.” wrote the former president’s attorneys.
Taking precautions like using disposable “burner” phones is being used as evidence that represent an awareness that the journalists’ actions were a violation of the law.
Mary Trump initially accepted the reporters’ offer to remain anonymous in the article, but revealed herself as the source in a book two years later.
The lawsuit complaint describes Mary Trump as being “motivated by a personal vendetta”.
The New York Times acknowledged at the time of the 2018 article that they understood that the tax documents were confidential, despite publishing an article about them.
Along with accusing former President Trump of benefitting from “dubious tax schemes”, the New York Times revealed that he was gradually gifted $413 million from his father, throughout the course of his life.
“The Times’s coverage of Donald Trump’s taxes helped inform the public through meticulous reporting on a subject of overriding public interest,” a spokesperson for the New York Times wrote in response to the lawsuit.
“This lawsuit is an attempt to silence independent news organizations and we plan to vigorously defend against it.” warned the newspaper.
Mary Trump issued a statement to NBC News, describing Donald Trump as a “loser”.
“The walls are closing in and he is throwing anything against the wall that he thinks will stick,” penned the former president’s niece.
Adding; “As is always the case with Donald, he’ll try and change the subject.”