A day after a Queens County Surrogate's Court dismissed his initial June 23 motion, President Donald J. Trump's brother, Robert S. Trump, filed a new lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court in Dutchess County, once again seeking to block publication of Mary L. Trump's forthcoming tell-all, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.
The June 26 filing, which is nearly identical to the Trump family's defective June 23 effort, is based on a sweeping confidentiality clause agreed to in 2001, when the estate of the president’s father, Fred Trump Sr., was settled. The suit seeks to block publication of the book, as well as a declaration that Mary L. Trump has breached her confidentiality agreement, and potential damages. The action also names the book's publisher, Simon & Schuster, as a defendant.
On the S&S website, the forthcoming book is described as a “revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him," and claims to offer insight into how Trump "became the man who now threatens the world’s health, economic security, and social fabric.” The publisher's catalog copy describes Mary L. Trump as a trained clinical psychologist as well as the president’s only niece. The book is scheduled for a July 28 publication.
According to a report on the website Law.com, Trump family attorney Charles B. Harder told Dutchess County Supreme Court justice Hal B. Greenwald in a June 26 letter that the Trump family hoped to move quickly to avoid "the situation presented in the recent case of United States v. Bolton," in which a federal judge declined to issue a restraining order blocking the publication of former national security adviser John Bolton's memoir of his 18 months in the Trump administration, The Room Where it Happened, noting that the book had already been widely distributed.
Lawyers for Mary L. Trump and for S&S also wrote to the judge, insisting that the action seeks to impose what is clearly an unconstitutional prior restraint.
"Regardless of Mr. Trump’s efforts to make this seem like a small dispute about the breach of a confidentiality provision in a Settlement Agreement—to which Simon & Schuster is not a party—the relief he requests is among the most extraordinary remedies a litigant can request under the law, a prior restraint of speech on a matter of public interest," wrote S&S attorney Elizabeth McNamara in a June 26 letter to the court, requesting that S&S be allowed to brief this issue before any order to show cause or other provisional relief is entered.
In her June 26 letter to the court, Mary L. Trump's lawyer, Anne Champion, indicated that Mary L. Trump will fight the motion to block publication, and also requested the opportunity to fully brief the court. "The First Amendment unquestionably protects Ms. Trump's right to participate in the electoral debate by writing and having published her work concerning the President's character and fitness for office," Champion wrote, "and it independently protects the right of Defendant Simon & Schuster, Inc., to publish it as well."