'F*cking Loser' Files LOLsuit Against Mary Trump And NYT For Tortious Journalism And Mean True Words
"I think he is a fucking loser, and he is going to throw anything against the wall he can," Mary Trump told the Daily Beast. "It's desperation. The walls are closing in and he is throwing anything against the wall that will stick. As is always the case with Donald, he'll try and change the subject."
That's really all you need to know about the lawsuit the former president filed against his niece and the New York Times yesterday, as first reported by DB. It's an embarrassing tire fire of nonsense, full stop.
How embarrassing? Here's some howling from the very first page of the complaint:
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 defendants' actions 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 brazenness of the defendants' actions cannot be understated. [Emphasis added.]
All the best words!
Trump is seeking $100 million — US dollars! — in what is essentially a breach of contract case arising out of the settlement agreement that ended the litigation over his parents' estate in 2000. In general, there are no punitive damages in a contract dispute — if you win, you just get your money back. And it's not clear exactly how he was damaged anyway. Is his theory that he lost votes because of his niece's revelations? Seems like he might run into a teensy problem there, since he's been claiming to have won the election in a landslide for upwards of ten months now.
As with so many laws, Trump has not only ignored the basics of Contracts 101, he's tacked on a bunch of made up shit, including accusing Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Susanne Craig of tortiously interfering with the settlement contract by convincing Mary Trump to hand over the records in 2017. Craig and her fellow reporter defendants, David Barstow and Russell Beuttner, used the materials for a 2018 article titled "Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches from His Father," which piece described the family's various tax avoidance stratagems, depicting Trump as kind of a fuck up and puncturing the notion of the former president as a self-made man.
"I knocked on Mary Trump's door. She opened it. I think they call that journalism," Craig tweeted.
She admits to tortious journalisming, LOCK HER UP!
Trump's arguments against the paper and the reporters are just gobbledygook. The media has a First Amendment right to seek out sources and publish true stories on matters of public interest, and anyway, the reporters weren't party to the original contract, so its terms cannot be enforced against them.
But it's very much an open question whether the terms of the Settlement Agreement can even be enforced against Mary Trump herself. In her own lawsuit against Trump and his siblings, she claims that the agreement is void because the financial information they presented to get her to sign it was all bullshit — or, in lawtalk, there was fraud in the inducement. And we've never seen the actual agreement, since Trump's lawyers have only seen fit to offer up select quotes from it to bolster their case.
But Dutchess County Justice Hal Greenwald has seen the entire document, since Mary Trump's lawyers showed it to him last year when Trump's brother Robert Trump (now deceased) sued to enjoin publication of her book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man (Wonkette-bonus link right there), and His Honor was not impressed.
"Too many words, with too many meanings. The cost of the litigation that was settled should have been finalized with more specifics, more clarity, if the current situation was even comprehended, at the time the Agreement was signed," he wrote, describing the confidentiality clause as "so overly broad, as to be ineffective."
And while Trump would like to paint the contract as first and foremost a non-disclosure agreement, the court noted that it functioned primarily to settle the litigation around the estate itself.
Simply put, plaintiff claims the goal of the agreement was to prevent confidential information from being released. Was that so? Wasn't the Agreement a stipulation to settle multiple lawsuits? Make payments to several parties? There was no specific consideration given to anyone for confidentiality. The consideration was provided to settle disputes. The parties agreed to keep the settlement under seal. That's it.
It's not at all clear what Grandpa Streisand Effect thinks he's going to accomplish with this lawsuit. But the last time he sued, albeit using his brother as a conduit, he managed to ensure that his niece's book rocketed to the top of the bestseller list. And, hey whaddayaknow, she's got another one that just came out last month titled The Reckoning: Our Nation's Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal (Wonklink there).
Maybe this whole idiotic exercise is just the misguided effort of a loving uncle to gin up publicity and goose sales for his beloved niece.
Just kidding, lunatic assholes gonna lunatic asshole.
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.