Judge dismisses attempt by Trump’s brother to block tell-all book by president’s niece

Politics
President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One upon return to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on May 30, 2020. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One upon return to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on May 30, 2020. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

A judge on Thursday dismissed an attempt by President Trump’s younger brother to block the publication of a forthcoming unflattering tell-all book by Mary L. Trump, the President’s niece.

Judge Peter J. Kelly of the Queens County Surrogate Court in New York, where a motion to obtain a temporary restraining order was filed Tuesday by Robert S. Trump, dismissed the case citing a lack of jurisdiction.

Ted Boutrous, the renowned First Amendment attorney who represented Mary Trump, and who has also represented CNN in the past, lauded the court’s decision in a statement.

“The court has promptly and correctly held that it lacks jurisdiction to grant the Trump family’s baseless request to suppress a book of utmost public importance,” Boutrous said. “We hope this decision will end the matter.”

“Democracy thrives on the free exchange of ideas,” Boutrous added, “and neither this court nor any other has authority to violate the Constitution by imposing a prior restraint on core political speech.”

Charles Harder, the attorney representing Robert Trump and who also represents the President, said his client will continue to pursue legal action.

“Robert Trump, Mary Trump and the other family members who settled in 2001, agreed to jurisdiction of future disputes in the Surrogate’s Court of Queens County, New York,” Harder said in a statement. “This matter therefore was filed in that court.”

“Today, the Surrogate’s Court ruled that it does not have jurisdiction over the dispute,” Harder continued. “Therefore, Robert Trump will proceed with filing a new lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court.”

In return, Boutrous commented, “We are ready!”

The Tuesday filing in the Queens County Surrogate court in New York had argued that Mary Trump’s book for Simon & Schuster, which was also listed as a defendant, broke a confidentiality agreement.

The filing said that after the death of Fred Trump, litigation ensued over his will. As part of a settlement, the filing said, a confidentiality provision was agreed upon by all parties, including Mary Trump.

A representative for Simon & Schuster said in a statement that the company was “delighted” with the court’s Thursday decision.

“We look forward to publishing Mary L. Trump’s TOO MUCH AND NEVER ENOUGH,” the representative for the company added, “and are confident we will prevail should there be further efforts to stifle this publication.”

The Trump administration recently took legal action in an attempt to block the tell-all book of John Bolton, the former national security advisor.

But a federal judge denied the Department of Justice’s motion, writing in his decision that Bolton’s book had already been widely distributed and that the court would “not order a nationwide seizure and destruction of a political memoir.”

Harder, the attorney representing Robert Trump, has a history of filing lawsuits against news organizations on behalf of President Trump. The lawsuits have been dismissed by legal experts as public relations stunts with little chance of success in court.

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