Judge temporarily blocks publication of tell-all book by President Trump's niece
Posted June 30, 2020 1:36 p.m. EDT
CNN — A New York judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked the publication of an unflattering tell-all book written by President Trump's niece that Simon & Schuster is set to publish in July.
The ruling, issued by Judge Hal B. Greenwald of the New York State Supreme Court, is the first legal win for Robert S. Trump, the younger brother of the President, who has sought to block the book by Mary Trump, the President's niece, contending it violates a confidentiality agreement related to the estate of the President's father, Fred Trump.
"Robert Trump is very pleased with the New York Supreme Court's injunction against Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster," Charles Harder, Robert Trump's attorney, said in a statement.
Calling the actions of Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster "reprehensible," Harder added that he looked forward to "vigorously litigating this case."
"Short of corrective action to immediately cease their egregious conduct, we will pursue this case to the very end," Harder said.
In addition to his work for Robert Trump, Harder 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.
Ted Boutrous, a renowned First Amendment attorney who represents Mary Trump, and who has also represented CNN on matters in the past, said the order "flatly violates the First Amendment."
"We will immediately appeal," Boutrous said. "This book, which addresses matters of great public concern and importance about a sitting president in election year, should not be suppressed even for one day."
Adam Rothberg, a spokesperson for Simon & Schuster, said in a statement that the company was "disappointed" in the court's decision.
"We plan to immediately appeal this decision to the Appellate Division, and look forward to prevailing in this case based on well-established precedents regarding prior restraint," Rothberg said.
Simon & Schuster describes Mary Trump's book, "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man," as a "revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him."
The book, the publisher says, will shine "a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world's health, economic security, and social fabric."
The Tuesday ruling comes after a judge for the Queens County Surrogate Court in New York last week dismissed a similar attempt to block the book, citing a lack of jurisdiction.
After that case was dismissed, Robert Trump took his case before the New York State Supreme Court.
Robert Trump has argued that as part of litigation related to Fred Trump's will, a settlement was reached that included a confidentiality provision. That provision, Robert Trump has argued, was agreed upon by all parties, including Mary Trump.
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."