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Trump Coughs Up Almost $400K to New York Times in Failed Tax Docs Lawsuit

Rebecca Cook/Reuters
Rebecca Cook/Reuters

Donald Trump has paid almost $400,000 to The New York Times to cover the newspaper’s legal costs in his failed lawsuit against the publication and its reporters over the disclosure of his tax records in a 2018 article.

A judge last month ordered the former president to pay up after his case was dismissed in May 2023 on the grounds that the reporting had been protected by the New York Constitution. Journalists David Barstow, Susanne Craig, and Russ Buettner won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting for their series on Trump’s finances.

Judge Tosses Trump’s Lawsuit Against NY Times, Orders Him to Pay All Legal Fees

“Some news: Donald Trump has paid the $392,638.69 he owed The New York Times for legal fees connected to a frivolous lawsuit he brought against the paper, two of my colleagues and me,” Craig wrote in an X post Monday. A spokesman for the Times later confirmed to CNN that the payment had been made.

Trump filed his lawsuit in 2021 alleging that the Times and its reporters had hatched an “insidious plot” with Mary Trump—his niece—to get hold of his tax records. The documents that the newspaper obtained informed the prize-winning series of pieces which questioned Donald Trump’s claims of being a self-made billionaire and accused him of having committed “outright fraud.”

In his original complaint, Trump alleged that the reporters and his niece colluded to “smuggle records out of her attorney’s office” and give them to the paper, allegedly breaching a 2001 confidentiality agreement she’d signed. He also claimed the journalists had been “motivated, at least in part, by their actual malice” by reporting on information within his tax records which he’d refused to release.

Judge Robert Reed, of New York County Supreme Court, last year dismissed Trump’s claim “because the Times’ purpose in reporting on a story of a high public interest constitutes justification as a matter of law.”

Alina Habba, Trump’s attorney, claimed in a statement at the time that the reporters “went well beyond the conventional news-gathering techniques permitted by the First Amendment,” adding: “All journalists must be held accountable when they commit civil wrongs.”

The payment is just a fraction of the overall financial morass that Trump is currently facing relating to legal cases.

On Monday, Trump officially appealed against a recent $464 million bank fraud judgment. The filing came just days after his attorneys separately asked another judge to delay the enforcement of a ruling ordering Trump to pay $83.3 million to writer E. Jean Carroll after he was found to have defamed her by alleging that she was lying when she accused him of sexual assault. The frontrunner for the 2024 GOP nomination was also ordered to pay Carroll $5 million in another ruling last May.

Aside from his civil law woes, Trump currently faces 91 felony counts in four separate criminal cases.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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