Monday, April 15, 2024

Dem. Judge Orders Trump to Pay $400K to NY Times After Outlet Leaked Taxes

'We look forward to proceeding with our claims against her...'

(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) Former President Donald Trump has been ordered to pay a $392,638 fee to the leftist New York Times after he unsuccessfully sued the newspaper over the disclosure of private tax and financial filings. 

On Friday, New York Supreme Court Justice Robert Reed, a Democrat, granted the legal fees as compensation for the failed lawsuit against the newspaper and Mary L. Trump, the former president’s infamous niece. Reed directed Trump to pay $229,921 to NY Times reporters Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner and $162,717.69 to reporter David Barstow, according to a court order.

“Today’s decision shows that the state’s newly amended anti-SLAPP statute can be a powerful force for protecting press freedom,” claimed Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokesperson for the NY Times. Similarly, Barstow, one of the journalist sued, celebrated the decision on Twitter, stating, “Not fun to be sued personally for $100 million.”

Trump attorney Alina Habba said that the former president will continue its lawsuit against his niece.

“While we are disappointed that the NY Times is no longer in this matter, we are pleased that the Court once again affirmed the strength of our claims against Mary and is denying her attempt to avoid accountability,” Habba said in a statement, according to the NBC News “We look forward to proceeding with our claims against her.”

Initially, Trump aimed to hold the NY Times responsible for encouraging his niece to leak his tax filings, along with 100,000 pages of financial documents, as admitted by the NY Times itself.

Years earlier, Trump and his niece had reached a settlement that included a confidentiality provision arising from Trump’s father’s will. 

However, the NY Times, citing documents provided by Mary Trump, published a report in 2018 that contained private information related to the former president. The 2018 report claimed that Fred Trump gave his son, Donald Trump, approximately $413 million in tax avoidance plans over several decades. 

In a $100 million defamation lawsuit, Trump rebuked the report and accused the NY Times and his niece of being “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.” 

However, Reed removed the NY Times from the lawsuit over the claims that reporters have the right to engage in “newsgathering” without fear. Specifically, Reed agreed with the NY Times’ attorneys that Trump’s lawsuit against the newspaper was “frivolous.”

In May 2023, Reed claimed, “Courts have long recognized that reporters are entitled to engage in legal and ordinary newsgathering activities without fear of tort liability — as these actions are at the very core of protected First Amendment activity.”

Mary Trump remains a defendant in the lawsuit.

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