Judge blocks release of tell-all book by Donald Trump niece
Donald Trump at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1990. On the left is Donald Trump’s brother Robert Trump and his wife Blaine Trump, whose daughter has penned a tell-all book about the family [File: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo]
A tell-all book by President Donald Trump’s niece cannot be published until a judge decides the merits of claims by the president’s brother, Robert S Trump, that its publication would violate a pact among family members, a judge said on Tuesday.
New York state Supreme Court Judge Hal B Greenwald in Poughkeepsie, New York, issued an order requiring the niece, Mary Trump, and her publisher to explain why they should not be blocked from publishing the book titled Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.
A hearing in the case was set for July 10.
The book, scheduled to be published on July 28, was written by Mary Trump, the daughter of Fred Trump Jr, the president’s older brother, who died in 1981. An online description of it says it reveals “a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse”.
There is literally no legal analysis in the Temporary Restraining Order against the Mary Trump book. A flat prior restraint without articulation of a reason other than the implication that the TRO will be reviewed on July 10 after oral argument. https://t.co/YXOFOF0vNO
— Sigh Hersh, Hostile Witness (@Ugarles) June 30, 2020
The judge banned “publishing, printing or distributing any book or any portions thereof” before he decides the validity of Robert’s claims.
Robert argues Mary must comply with a written agreement among family members who settled a dispute over Fred Trump’s will by agreeing that a book about them cannot be published without their permission.
Mary’s lawyer, Theodore J Boutrous Jr, and her publisher, Simon & Schuster, promised an immediate appeal.
“The trial court’s temporary restraining order is only temporary but it still is a prior restraint on core political speech that flatly violates the First Amendment,” Boutrous said in a statement.
“This book, which addresses matters of great public concern and importance about a sitting president in an election year, should not be suppressed even for one day,” Boutrous said.
Adam Rothberg, a Simon & Schuster spokesperson, said the publisher was disappointed but looks forward “to prevailing in this case based on well-established precedents regarding prior restraint”.
Charles Harder, a lawyer for Robert, said his client was “very pleased”.
He said in a statement the actions by Mary and her publisher were “truly reprehensible”.
“We look forward to vigorously litigating this case, and will seek the maximum remedies available by law for the enormous damages,” he said. “Short of corrective action to immediately cease their egregious conduct, we will pursue this case to the very end.”
In court papers, Robert maintained Mary was part of a settlement nearly 20 years ago that included a confidentiality clause explicitly saying they would not “publish any account concerning the litigation or their relationship”, unless they all agreed.