(BrightPress.org) – Former President Donald Trump was ordered to cover nearly $400,000 in legal fees for the New York Times and a few of its writers. The ruling is the latest twist in Trump’s $100 million lawsuit against the NYT and some of its journalists – David Barstow, Susanne Craig, and Russell Buetter – for engaging in a conspiracy to steal and publish Trump’s confidential tax returns. Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, is also named as a defendant in the suit.
Trump’s tax information was published in 2018 by the New York Times as part of a series of hit pieces it put out against the then-president. New York Judge Robert Reed excused the Times and its journalists from further litigation claiming that the First Amendment protected their activities.
In a new ruling, Reed said that the “complexity of issues” was enough to warrant Trump covering the cost of the attorneys for the newspaper. A spokeswoman for the Times Danielle Rhoads Ha hailed the ruling as a victory and thanked the anti-SLAPP law in New York, calling it a powerful tool to protect the press.
Reed rejected Mary Trump’s request to pause the proceeding while she appealed allegations that she violated another settlement agreement when she shared the tax documents with the Times. She’s appealing a June ruling that indicated the case should proceed.
Trump attorney Alina Habba said that they were “disappointed” that the Times was allowed to escape further accountability but were pleased that the claims against Mary Trump were affirmed by Reed allowing the case to continue, despite appeals. Habba issued the comments while speaking with CNN.
The case is one of several legal battles Trump is engaged in; he faces numerous indictments largely criticized as political in nature as he runs a re-election campaign. Trump has dismissed all the allegations against him as baseless political attacks being deployed to avoid Joe Biden having to campaign.
Biden’s recent campaign speech at Valley Forge was largely derided by critics as divisive. Biden blamed “MAGA extremists” for the country’s problems while scapegoating Trump and the Republican party’s ongoing troubles around the nation.
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