Former President Donald Trump sued his estranged niece and The New York Times over a 2018 story about his family’s wealth and tax practices that was partly based on confidential documents she provided to the newspaper’s reporters, according to the Associated Press. Trump’s lawsuit accuses Mary Trump of breaching a settlement agreement by disclosing tax records she received in a dispute over family patriarch Fred Trump’s estate. The lawsuit accuses the Times and three of its investigative reporters of relentlessly seeking out Mary Trump as a source of information and convincing her to turn over documents.
The suit claims the reporters were aware the settlement agreement barred her from disclosing the documents. The Times’ story challenged Trump’s claims of self-made wealth by documenting how his father, Fred, had given him at least $413 million over the decades, including through tax avoidance schemes. Mary Trump identified herself in a book published last year as the source of the documents provided to the Times. Trump’s lawsuit alleges Mary Trump, the Times and its reporters “were motivated by a personal vendetta” against him and a desire to push a political agenda. The defendants “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,” the lawsuit said.
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