Judge slaps aside Trump attorney's key conspiracy accusation against his niece
Donald Trump (Photo by Saul Loeb for AFP)

One of the key contentions made by Donald Trump's lawsuit filed against his niece Mary Trump over a privacy agreement involving his financial records earned a stiff rebuke from New York State Supreme Court Justice Robert R. Reed on Thursday, reports Courthouse News.

The former president has been battling with his niece for years over Trump family money and, in a case now being heard, has accused her of violating a 20-year-old agreement about the privacy of the documents shared.

In this case, the dispute claims Mary Trump violated a "confidentiality clause that prohibits all family members" from making the documents public, with the former president's lawyers accusing her of conspiring with New York Times reporters Susanne Craig, David Barstow and Russell Buettner who used information from the documents for their Pulitzer Prize-winning report in 2019 that delved into some of his financial dealings.

According to Trump's lawyer Alina Habba, arguing before Reed, "The line is when they were in the trenches with Ms. Trump, when she was going to her attorney’s office, when they were giving her burner phones to converse with her and walk her through the steps and have meetings with her. The New York Times was so aggressive with something that frankly Congress couldn't get their hands on themselves.”

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Habba's co-counsel representing the former president, Michael Madaio, then insisted that the Times reporters were “ordering” Mary Trump to provide them with more information which led the judge to pull him and his law partner up short.

According to Courthouse News, Reed told the two, "You used the word ordered again,” before adding, “What authority did they exercise over her, such that she, a grown woman, licensed clinical psychologist, could be compelled by Sue Craig to take any action?”

The report adds that Mary Trump attorney Anne Champion told the court, "it was within Mary Trump’s rights to terminate the agreement, as it doesn’t specify an end date. She called the agreement nonsensical and cited the decision by a state judge in 2020 that allowed the book to be published against opposition from Robert Trump, the former president’s younger brother, related to the same family contract."

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