A New York judge has ruled that former President Donald Trump must pay around $400,000 to cover the legal costs of The New York Times in a lawsuit that he filed against the paper, three of its journalists, and his niece, which has since been dismissed.
In 2021, Trump filed a lawsuit against the New York Times, alleging that the publication worked with his estranged niece, Mary Trump, to acquire and release his tax documents. Judge Robert Reed of New York presided over the case.dismissed the lawsuit
In May 2023, a ruling was made in favor of the Times and its reporters, stating that they were shielded by the First Amendment. As a result, Trump was ordered to pay for their legal expenses.
On Friday, Reed evaluated that the legal services provided were worth $392,638.69, considering the intricacies of the case and the lawyers involved. (A part of the lawsuit against Mary Trump was permitted to proceed, but her plea for compensation of legal expenses was rejected in June.)
An article was released examining the financial status and tax information of Trump, exposing previously undisclosed details from his tax returns. Despite the former president’s refusal to make them public, as he claimed they were being audited, the publication was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for their investigative work.
“The recent ruling demonstrates the effectiveness of the state’s revised anti-SLAPP law in safeguarding freedom of the press,” stated a representative from The New York Times on Friday. The law is intended to discourage baseless defamation lawsuits that seek to silence defendants. “The court’s decision serves as a warning to those who attempt to abuse the legal system in order to silence journalists.”
Donald Trump filed a lawsuit for $100 million, accusing the reporters of being aware of a settlement that prevented Mary Trump from sharing specific documents. He claimed that the paper and reporters were involved in a deceitful scheme to unlawfully obtain his niece’s tax records.
Alina Habba’s spokesperson, who served as Trump’s attorney in the case, did not promptly reply to a request for comment regarding Friday’s order. After the lawsuit was dismissed last year by Reed, Habba stated, “All journalists should be held responsible for any civil wrongdoing. The New York Times is not exempt and its reporters exceeded the limits of First Amendment-protected news gathering methods.”