Albany, New York – Former President Donald Trump has been ordered by a New York judge to pay nearly $400,000 in legal fees to The New York Times and three of its reporters. This ruling comes after Trump’s failed lawsuit in 2021 against the newspaper over its bombshell reports on his tax records.
The lawsuit accused The New York Times, its reporters, and Trump’s niece Mary L. Trump of being involved in an “insidious plot” to obtain his private files. Trump alleged that they were motivated by a personal vendetta. Seeking at least $100 million in damages, Trump’s case was thrown out in May of last year by New York Supreme Court Justice Robert Reed. Reed ruled that the newspaper’s reporting on Trump’s tax returns was protected under the First Amendment right to free speech.
In his decision, Justice Reed acknowledged that reporters have the right to engage in legal and ordinary news-gathering activities without the fear of legal consequences, as these activities are at the core of protected First Amendment rights. The court stated that the legal services rendered in this complex case warranted a fee of $392,638.69, considering the nature of the issues, the number of causes of action, and the attorneys’ success in dismissing the complaint.
While Trump objected to the amount, arguing that it included unjustified or duplicative work and exorbitant hourly rates, the court’s decision stands. The allegations against Trump’s niece were not addressed when The New York Times and its reporters were dismissed from the case last year. However, her attorney expressed confidence that the court would rule in her favor and protect her exercise of First Amendment rights.
In June, Justice Reed allowed Trump’s claims against his niece to proceed, prompting her to appeal the decision and request to put the case on hold. However, Reed denied the request in a separate filing.
The ruling requires Donald Trump to pay almost $400,000 in legal fees to The New York Times and three of its reporters following his unsuccessful lawsuit against the newspaper. The case was dismissed last year, with the court determining that the newspaper’s reporting on Trump’s tax records was protected by the First Amendment. Trump disagreed with the amount and claimed that the legal work included unreasonable charges. The allegations against Trump’s niece were not addressed, but her attorney expressed confidence in a favorable ruling.