Former President Donald Trump's latest lawsuit may blow up in his face, Trump biographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston explained on MSNBC on Wednesday.
"NBC News confirm Donald Trump sued The New York Times as well as his own niece, Mary Trump, over a 2018 report that shattered him as a self made billionaire," anchor Joy Reid reported.
"Legal experts also say Trump should be careful what he's wishing for — he's staking the claim on a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that may not hold up under scrutiny," she noted. "And that scrutiny is sure to entail multiple depositions under oath, which he might want to avoid."
For analysis, Reid interviewed Johnston, who is the author of the 2016 book The Making of Donald Trump and the 2018 book It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America.
"I feel like this is a giant tell by Trump that he's really, really angry that he was exposed for the brokeness that really engulfs him," Reid said. "Your thoughts?"
"Well, this is another gambit by Donald to stay in front of his dwindling supporters," Johnston replied. "They haven't dwindled much, but they are starting to dwindle."
"He needs to raise money, he's become America's beggar-in-chief," he continued. "And there is no case here against The Times — and my law school students are going to examine this case, I assure you, in the spring semester."
Johnston described the two problems Trump created with his lawsuit.
"One is discovery and being questioned under oath, but the second one is the courts have held basically that Mary Trump can't be stopped by the non-disclosure agreement," he explained. "She may suffer civil penalties if Donald Trump wants to sue her over it, but we could end up with a court decision that says all your NDAs are worthless."
"That would be interesting," Reid replied.
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