Donald Trump initiated a $100 million lawsuit against the New York Times and his niece, Mary L. Trump over the former president leaked tax documents. The lawsuit alleges the NYT and his niece “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.”
Three specific reporters are included in the lawsuit, David Barstow, Susanne Craig, and Russ Buettner. The lawsuit continues, “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.”
Trump suggests the NYT was aware of their questionable journalism practices, referring to “their insistence on communicating through ‘burner’ phones and The Times initial claims that the records were obtained from an ‘anonymous’ source.”
In 2019 the Times journalists were awarded for their reporting on Trump’s previously undisclosed and highly contentious tax returns. The lawsuit claims the report garnered unprecedented traffic for the Times. Furthermore, “The stock price of The Times rose 7.4% during the week of the publication of the 2018 Article.”
Trump claimed that the publication wrongly gained from the article, including “monetary gain, fame, acclaim, notoriety, inflated market valuation, increased revenue, and/or career advancement.” A timeline for the lawsuit, which was filed in New York’s Dutchess County, has yet to be released.