A New York judge has dismissed a 2021 lawsuit filed by former President Donald Trump accusing New York Times reporters of conspiring to obtain his tax records.
The judge has also ordered Trump to cover all legal fees and expenses incurred by the Times and its reporters.
Trump’s lawsuit claimed that the newspaper had sought the assistance of his niece, Mary Trump, to illicitly obtain the tax records from her attorney’s office. The case against Mary Trump is yet to be decided.
The Pulitzer-winning stories published by the Times in 2018 relied on information provided by Mary Trump.
These articles questioned the former president’s claims of being a self-made millionaire, demonstrating that he had inherited hundreds of millions through questionable tax schemes. The series also exposed a history of tax avoidance on Trump’s part.
New York Supreme Court Justice Robert Reed stated that Trump’s allegations were unsupported by constitutional law, which permits reporters to engage in legal newsgathering activities.
Charlie Stadtlander, a spokesperson for the New York Times, expressed satisfaction with the judge’s decision, calling it an important precedent that confirms the press’s protection when engaging in routine newsgathering to obtain information crucial to the public.
In response, Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba stated that they would consider their client’s options and continue to fight vigorously on his behalf.
In 2020, Trump’s re-election campaign sued the New York Times and the Washington Post over opinion pieces connecting him to Russian interference in the election.
Additionally, last year, Trump sued CNN for defamation, seeking $475 million in damages. The cases against each media outlet were dismissed.