A New York judge on Wednesday dismissed former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against The New York Times and three of its reporters over the 2018 article that Trump allegedly participated in “suspicious tax schemes.” Three of the paper’s authors—David Barstow, Suzanne Craig, and Russ Buettner—later won the 2019 prize Pulitzer Prize in the explanatory report to item
New York Supreme Court Justice Robert Reed dismissed Trump’s lawsuit against the newspaper and its reporters and held him financially responsible for their attorneys’ fees and additional costs incurred, writing in his opinion that Mr Trump’s claims “fail as a matter of constitutional law”.
“Courts have long recognized that reporters have the right to engage in lawful and routine news-gathering activities without fear of prosecution because these activities are the essence of activities protected by the First Amendment,” Reid continued.
Trump initially filed suit against The Times, three reporters and his niece, Mary Trump, in late 2021, alleging the newspaper engaged in an “insidious conspiracy” to illegally obtain copies of his confidential information. tax documents through Mary Trump and then use them. Trump’s lawyers say that by providing the paper containing Trump’s 20-year-old tax documents, his niece violated a 1999 court order that involved the will of Fred S. Trump, the former president’s father. The New York Times reports.
Reid said Mary Trump “owned the files she disclosed to The Times, and therefore there was nothing wrong” with the newspaper and its reporters requesting the documents from her for journalistic use.
Although Reed dismissed the claims against The Times, Barstow, Craig and Buettner, the claims against Mary Trump have yet to be ruled on. It is not yet clear when a decision will be made.
“The New York Times is pleased with the judge’s decision today,” a New York Times spokesperson said in a statement provided to CBS News. “This is an important precedent that reaffirms that the press is protected when it engages in routine news gathering for the purpose of obtaining information vital to society.”
Trump’s lawyer, Alina Haba, said in a statement: “All journalists should be held accountable when they commit civil crimes. The New York Times is no different, and its reporters have gone far beyond the normal methods of gathering news permitted by the First Amendment. of the court’s decision, we will weigh our client’s options and continue to vigorously fight on his behalf.” She did not specify whether they will appeal.
This isn’t the first time Trump has failed to sue The New York Times. In 2020, the former president sued for defamation against the paper, claiming that the 2019 article inaccurately reported “collusion with Russia.” The lawsuit was dismissed in 2021.
– Graham Cates contributed to this report.