A New York court tossed former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against The New York Times, dealing a significant blow to Trump’s efforts to exact damages for the leak of his private tax returns.
New York Supreme Court Justice Robert Reed ordered Trump to pay all legal expenses, attorney fees, and other costs in the Wednesday filing.
According to The Daily Wire, the judge said Trump’s claims against the paper “fail as a matter of constitutional law” and said the Times’ reporting was “protected First Amendment activity.”
Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, was also targeted in the lawsuit, which alleged that the Times and Mary hatched an “insidious plot” to leak the former president’s private tax records.
In his lawsuit, Trump alleged that Times reporters convinced Mary “to smuggle the records out of her attorney’s office.” The former president’s lawsuit stated that the newspaper and niece were 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 leaked tax documents were first reported by the Times in 2018 in an article titled, “Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father.” The article said that Trump benefitted enormously from his father’s wealth when the former president built his own real estate empire. The Times report said Trump participated in “dubious tax schemes,” as well as “outright fraud” to keep his fortune.
The report earned The New York Times a Pulitzer Prize in 2019 for explanatory reporting.
Trump is facing a number of legal matters. Last month, the former president was indicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records.