The Trump family’s efforts to squash a much anticipated tell-all book from the president’s niece fell short in a Queens County court in New York today as Judge Peter J. Kelly dismissed their lawsuit.
President Donald Trump’s younger brother, Robert Trump, had sought a restraining order alleging that the author, Mary Trump, was violating a nondisclosure agreement dating back to an inheritance dispute in the family.
Robert Trump, who is Mary Trump’s uncle, could refile elsewhere, but her attorney, Ted Boutrous, said he hoped that the matter would be put to rest and that the book would be allowed to be published next month.
Among other things, Mary Trump is said to reveal in the book that she leaked the documents that led to a blockbuster New York Times investigation into the president’s finances that found he inherited and subsequently squandered much of his wealth from his father.
Trump has claimed that his niece is “not allowed to write a book” because of a “very powerful” NDA that “covers everything.”
The NDA was signed by the clinical psychologist Mary and her brother with the president, Robert and the elder Trumps’ sister, retired federal appeals court Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, as part of a settlement of a court battle over the will of the president’s late father, Fred Trump Sr.
Its publisher, Simon & Schuster, has said the book is a “revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him.”
Mary Trump is expected in the book to confirm that she was the primary source for The New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning series about Trump’s finances.
Kelly, in his ruling today, found “several improprieties” with Robert Trump’s bid to block the book’s publication.
In particular, Kelly noted, the filing was done in connection with a probate proceeding in Surrogate’s Court for the estate of Fred Trump Sr., the late real estate developer.
That probate case terminated in 2001, and as a result is “non-existent” in Surrogate’s Court, Kelly wrote.
Kelly suggested that Robert Trump could pursue his request for an injunction against Mary Trump and her publisher, Simon & Schuster, in New York State Supreme Court.
Robert’s lawyer, Charles Harder, said in a statement that he would do just that.
“Robert Trump, Mary Trump and the other family members who settled in 2001, agreed to jurisdiction of future disputes in the Surrogate’s Court of Queens County, New York,” Harder said.
“This matter therefore was filed in that court. Today, the Surrogate’s Court ruled that it does not have jurisdiction over the dispute. Therefore, Robert Trump will proceed with filing a new lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court,” said Harder.
The lawyer is known for representing Trump, including in a lawsuit filed by adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
Mary Trump’s lawyer, Theodore Boutrous, in a statement, praised the decision, saying, “The court has promptly and correctly held that it lacks jurisdiction to grant the Trump family’s baseless request to suppress a book of utmost public importance.”
“We hope this decision will end the matter,” Boutros said.
“Democracy thrives on the free exchange of ideas, and neither this court nor any other has authority to violate the Constitution by imposing a prior restraint on core political speech.”
Simon & Schuster, in a statement, said, “We are delighted with Judge Kelly’s decision to dismiss this case from the Surrogate Court.”
“We look forward to publishing Mary L. Trump’s TOO MUCH AND NEVER ENOUGH, and are confident we will prevail should there be further efforts to stifle this publication,” the publisher said.