NEW YORK (The Hill) — A New York judge on Wednesday tossed former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against The New York Times and several of its reporters over a 2018 article on his “dubious tax schemes.”
Justice Robert Reed dismissed the claims against the Times and its reporters Susanne Craig, David Barstow, and Russ Buettner and ordered Trump to pay all attorneys’ fees and other costs associated with the lawsuit.
“The New York Times is pleased with the judge’s decision today,” Times spokesperson Charlie Stadtlander said in a statement. “It is an important precedent reaffirming that the press is protected when it engages in routine newsgathering to obtain information of vital importance to the public.”
Trump sued the newspaper and his niece Mary Trump in September 2021, accusing them of engaging in an “insidious plot” to obtain confidential tax records for the article.
The former president claimed the Times reporters were liable because they allegedly encouraged his niece to provide them with his confidential tax documents. In giving the documents to the Times, he claimed Mary Trump breached confidentiality provisions set in an old settlement between herself and the former president.
However, Reed said in Wednesday’s ruling that Trump’s arguments “fail as a matter of constitutional law.”
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“Courts have long recognized that reporters are entitled to engage in legal and ordinary newsgathering activities without fear of tort liability — as these actions are at the very core of protected First Amendment activity,” Reed wrote.