A surrogate’s court in New York on Thursday dismissed a request by President Trump’s brother Robert Trump that sought to block the publication of a book by their niece Mary.
Already, Robert Trump’s lawyer has said that he will file another lawsuit with the New York State Supreme Court, given the surrogate court’s reasoning for rejecting the initial attempt at preventing the book’s publication.
The surrogate court judge said that the requests to enjoin publication of the book contained “several improprieties” and his court was a “presumptively improper” forum for the relief being sought.
Robert Trump has alleged that Mary Trump violated an NDA that she signed as part of the settling Fred Trump Sr.’s estate. Her publisher Simon & Schuster was also targeted in the litigation.
The book is said to be very critical of the President. Citing the NDA, President Trump has said that his niece is “not allowed to write a book” and behind the scenes was reportedly involved in discussions about taking legal action against it.
Robert Trump, who is the brother of Mary’s late father Fred Trump Jr., is being represented by Charles Harder, an aggressive media lawyer who has represented President Trump personally in other lawsuits. He is perhaps most famous for his involvement in the Hulk Hogan lawsuit — supported secretly by Peter Thiel — that the led to the demise of Gawker.
Harder told TPM via email that, as part of the 2001 settlement, the family had “agreed to jurisdiction of future disputes in the Surrogate’s Court of Queens County, New York.”
“This matter therefore was filed in that court. Today, the Surrogate’s Court ruled that it does not have jurisdiction over the dispute,” Harder said. ” Therefore, Robert Trump will proceed with filing a new lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court.”
Theodore Boutrous, the First Amendment lawyer who is defending Mary Trump, sent TPM a statement that said they hoped “this decision will end the matter.”
“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 and concern,” Boutrous said. “Democracy thrives on the free exchange of ideas, and neither this court nor any other has authority to violate the Constitution by imposing a prior restraint on core political speech.”
Read the surrogate court order below:
- -Hiring More Journalists
- -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism