Former president Donald Trump must pay the New York Times nearly $400,000 in legal fees relating to a failed lawsuit he brought against the newspaper, three of its reporters, and his estranged niece over a 2018 Pulitzer-winning story about his family’s wealth and tax filings.

Trump filed a $100 million lawsuit in 2021 after his niece, Mary Trump, gave his confidential tax records to journalists Susanne Craig, David Barstow, and Russ Buettner. The Times and its reporters were dismissed from the suit in May by New York judge Robert Reed, who concluded that Trump’s legal claims concerning them “fail as a matter of constitutional law.” Trump’s claim that Mary violated a prior settlement agreement by turning over the tax documents, however, is still pending.

In a Friday ruling, Reed ordered that Trump pay a sum of $392,638.69 to the Times, Craig, Barstow, and Buettner. The judge said the amount was “reasonable,” given the complexity of the case.

“Today’s decision shows that the state’s newly amended anti-SLAPP statute can be a powerful force for protecting press freedom,” Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha said following the judge’s order, according to the Associated Press.

New York’s anti-SLAPP statute, enacted in 1992, allows defendants to file a motion to dismiss complaints brought against them by public-permit holders, preventing such figures from threatening litigation as a means to harass, intimidate, or punish critics. Such lawsuits are deemed SLAPPs, or strategic lawsuits against public participation.

“The court has sent a message to those who want to misuse the judicial system to try to silence journalists,” Rhoades Ha added.

Trump attorney Alina Habba, while expressing disappointment that her legal team can’t litigate the Times and its trio of journalists, said she is pleased the court “once again affirmed the strength of our claims against Mary and is denying her attempt to avoid accountability.”

“We look forward to proceeding with our claims against her,” Habba said.

Craig and Barstow, who co-wrote the 2018 story along with Buettner, both celebrated the Friday motion in separate posts on X.

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Trump Ordered to Pay New York Times Nearly $400,000 after Failed Lawsuit

Trump filed a $100 million lawsuit in 2021 after his niece, Mary Trump, gave his confidential tax records to ... READ MORE


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