In a victory for President Trump, New York State Supreme Court justice Hal B. Greenwald has issued an order to show cause and a temporary restraining order blocking, for now, the 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 order, made public on June 30, comes after the parties in the suit participated in a Skype conference on June 29.
The victory could be short-lived, however, as Greenwald has set a July 10 appearance date for deciding whether the court should grant a preliminary injunction to enjoin and restrain Mary L. Trump and her publisher, Simon & Schuster from moving ahead with the book's publication. An immediate appeal of Greenwald's order is also said to be in process.
"We are disappointed that the Court has granted this Temporary Restraining Order," Simon & Schuster officials said in a statement. "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."
Greenwald's order temporarily blocks Mary L. Trump and S&S from "from publishing, printing or distributing, directly or indirectly, any book or any portions thereof, including but not limited to the book entitled Too Much and Never Enough, How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man in any medium containing any descriptions or accounts of Mary L. Trump’s relationship with Robert S. Trump, Donald Trump, or Maryanne Trump Barry, or assisting any other person or entity in such publication, printing, or distribution, or providing such descriptions or accounts to any other person."
The order caps a whirlwind seven days in court for the Trump family, which included a Queens County Surrogate's Court dismissing the Trump family's defective June 23 motion, and the president's brother, Robert S. Trump refiling a nearly identical suit in New York State Supreme Court for Dutchess County on June 25. The suit is based on a sweeping confidentiality clause agreed to in 2001, when the estate of the president’s father, Fred Trump Sr., was settled. It seeks an injunction blocking publication of the book, a declaration that Mary L. Trump is in breach of her confidentiality agreement, and potential damages.
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.
In a statement to the press, Trump family attorney Charles B. Harder said his client was "very pleased" with the injunction. "The actions of Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster are truly reprehensible. 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. Short of corrective action to immediately cease their egregious conduct, we will pursue this case to the very end.”
Mary L. Trump's lawyer, Theodore Boutros acknowledged that the injunction was only temporary, but "still is a prior restraint on core political speech that flatly violates the First Amendment," he said, vowing an immediate appeal. "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.”
The book is currently scheduled for a July 28 publication.
Clarification: this story has been edited to reflect that while the parties have requested oral argument, no appearance is required on July 10. The court will rule on the briefs submitted.