United States: Donald Trump files a complaint against his niece and the “New York Times”

The former president of the United States accuses them of having mounted “a devious plot” in the context of an investigation into his tax revenues.

A 27-page complaint for damages estimated at $ 100 million, according to the defense of the former US president who decided to sue his niece, Mary Trump, and three journalists from the New York Times . Donald Trump said he was the victim of a “sneaky conspiracy” to “obtain his tax documents” 

In 2019, the  New York Times  received the Pulitzer Prize for its investigation into the former promoter and his illegal strategies to evade  taxes . According to the daily,  Donald Trump  would have transferred  $ 413 million “through a shell company” . Disclosures that led to the opening of an investigation by the New York State tax authorities. The Department of Justice has already ordered the Treasury to provide the tax returns of the former Republican president.

The businessman decided to file a complaint on Tuesday, September 21. She accuses three journalists – Susanne Craig, David Barstow and Russell Buettner – of having engaged in “a vast crusade to obtain confidential tax files from Donald J. Trump” . The text evokes “a personal vendetta” and “a devious plot” to recover “confidential and highly sensitive documents” that journalists have “exploited for their own benefit and used as a means of legitimizing their published work”.

Mary Trump, the main source of the investigation

Why is the former Republican president also suing his niece? Mary Trump had revealed to have been “the main source” of this investigation , in  her book  published in 2020 Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.

Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit on Tuesday accusing Mary L. Trump, The New York Times and three of its reporters of conspiring in an “insidious plot” to improperly obtain his confidential tax records and exploit their use in news articles and a book.

That action, according to the lawsuit, breached a confidentiality agreement that was part of the settlement of litigation involving the will of the former president’s father, Fred C. Trump, who died in 1999.

Donald Trump’s lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court in Dutchess County, New York, accuses the newspaper, its reporters and Mary Trump of being motivated “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.”

The suit comes as the former president continues to argue falsely that the 2020 election was stolen from him, and as his family company, the Trump Organization, and its longtime chief financial officer, Allen H. Weisselberg, have been accused by Manhattan prosecutors of avoiding taxes on employee perks that should have been reported as income. They have pleaded not guilty.

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised to make his tax returns public, as presidential candidates, including President Joe Biden, have done for at least 40 years. But Trump then refused to release them, citing an ongoing audit.

The documents that Mary Trump provided were the basis of a 2018 article that delved into what The Times called Donald Trump’s history of tax dodging and outright fraud, according to the lawsuit.

The Times report cast doubt on Trump’s claim that he was a self-made billionaire who rose to wealth and fame with little help from his father, a real estate developer. Instead, the investigation found, Trump inherited the equivalent of at least $413 million, much of it through “dubious tax schemes.”

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages and says the former president lost at least $100 million as a result of the defendants’ actions.

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