Judge Orders Donald Trump to Pay $392,638 to The New York Times in Failed Lawsuit Over Tax Disclosure

New York City – Former President Donald Trump has been ordered by a judge to pay $392,638 in legal fees to The New York Times after his unsuccessful lawsuit against the news outlet and its journalists, according to court documents. The lawsuit stemmed from a 2018 Times article that disclosed Trump’s tax information. Judge Robert R. Reed dismissed the case in May 2023, ruling that the journalists’ conduct was protected by the New York Constitution.

Among the accusations Trump brought against the Times was the claim that the journalists were responsible for “tortious interference” by allegedly seeking out his niece and causing her to breach a settlement contract with the Trump family. The judge dismissed the claim, stating that The Times’ reporting on a matter of public interest constituted justification under the law.

The judge further pointed to recent revisions made to New York’s anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) law, which allows for the quick dismissal of lawsuits targeting conduct protected by the First Amendment. This was cited as a reason for dismissing the case and ordering the payment of legal fees.

The New York Times hailed the court’s decision as a victory for press freedom and a message to those who attempt to silence journalists. The newspaper’s spokesperson, Danielle Rhoades Ha, stated that the amended anti-SLAPP statute was a powerful tool in protecting the press from misuse of the judicial system.

Meanwhile, Trump’s lawsuit now solely focuses on his estranged niece, Mary Trump. He alleges that she violated a prior settlement agreement by providing his tax records to a New York Times reporter. Mary Trump’s attorneys had requested to put the case on hold in order to appeal a decision that allowed some of Donald Trump’s claims against her to proceed. However, the judge denied the request.

Donald Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, expressed disappointment that The New York Times was no longer involved in the case but affirmed their determination to proceed with the claims against Mary Trump.

In conclusion, a judge has ordered former President Donald Trump to pay $392,638 in legal fees to The New York Times after his failed lawsuit against the news outlet. The judge’s decision, based on the protection of journalists’ conduct and recent amendments to New York’s anti-SLAPP law, sends a strong message about protecting press freedom. Trump’s remaining lawsuit now solely targets his niece, Mary Trump, for allegedly breaching a settlement agreement. The court denied Mary Trump’s attorneys’ requests to put the case on hold and for reimbursement of legal fees.