A New York State judge on Tuesday issued an injunction that temporarily blocks the publication of an upcoming tell-all book written by President Trump’s niece, Mary Trump.
Judge Hal B. Greenwald of the New York State Supreme Court, issued a temporary restraining order on a request for an injunction by President Trump’s brother Robert, requiring Mary and her publisher Simon & Schuster to explain why they should not be blocked from publishing the book. An upcoming preliminary injunction hearing is set for July 10, just two and a half weeks before the expected date the book is scheduled to be released.
The judge’s order bans the “publishing, printing, or distributing any book or any portions thereof” until he decides the validity and merits of Robert’s claims. In court papers, Robert cited an NDA agreement Mary signed in 2001 as part of a 1999 settlement disputing President Trump and Robert’s father, Fred Trump’s estate. The NDA includes a confidentiality clause explicitly saying that no one in the Trump family would publish any account “concerning the litigation or their relationship,” unless they all agreed.
“Robert Trump is very pleased with the New York Supreme Court’s injunction against Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster,” Charles Harder, Robert’s attorney, who also represents President Trump said in a statement. “The actions of Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster are truly reprehensible.”
Harder said his client plans to seek “enormous damages” against Mary and the publishing house until they “immediately cease their egregious conduct.”
“We look forward to vigorously litigating this case, and will seek the maximum remedies available by law for the enormous damages caused by Mary Trump’s breach of contract and Simon & Schuster’s intentional interference with that contract,” he added. “Short of corrective action to immediately cease their egregious conduct, we will pursue this case to the very end.”
The forthcoming book, titled “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” is advertised as a “revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him.”
Robert filed for a temporary restraining order last Tuesday in Queens County Surrogate’s Court against the book’s publisher Simon & Schuster and Mary. Queens County Court, Judge Peter J. Kelly dismissed Robert’s motion to obtain a temporary restraining order last Thursday, citing a lack of jurisdiction over the matter. After the Queens judge tossed out the lawsuit, Robert and his attorney pursued legal action with New York State Supreme Court.
Ted Boutrous, the attorney who represents Mary said the order from Judge Greenwald “flatly violates the First Amendment” and quickly filed an appeal Tuesday afternoon.
“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. “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.”
Simon & Schuster also filed an appeal Tuesday evening, stating they had already printed approximately 75,000 copies of the book and it “no longer maintains control” of the thousands of printed copies that “have already been shipped” to booksellers and online retailers.
The publisher Chief Executive Jonathan Karp in an affidavit noted that publishing house was unaware of any confidentiality agreement Mary had signed until “about two weeks ago, well after the book had been accepted, put into production, and printing had begun.” He also confirmed that Mary Trump was the “primary source” behind the New York Times investigation into the president’s taxes and that no litigation resulted from the 2018 article.
Mary, the daughter of the president’s late brother, Fred Trump Jr., is a trained clinical psychologist said the book is a firsthand account that “shines 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.”