Trump’s Brother Fails to Block Niece’s Tell-All Family Book
(Bloomberg) -- A memoir portraying President Donald Trump as a liar and narcissist who was coddled by an overbearing father, an incurious press and reckless banks before turning to politics will go on sale tomorrow as planned after a judge refused to issue an injunction against its release.
The president’s brother, Robert Trump, who sued to block the book’s publication, failed to show that either he or the public would be harmed if the memoir by his and the president’s niece, Mary Trump, is released, state Supreme Court Justice Hal Greenwald in Poughkeepsie, New York, said in his Monday decision.
The memoir, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” has been widely reported and more than 600,000 copies have already shipped, the judge said. Enjoining Mary Trump now “would be incorrect and serve no purpose,” the judge wrote. “It would be moot.”
The ruling also lifted a temporary restraining order that had been put in place earlier against Mary Trump, blocking her from talking about her memoir while she battled her uncle over the injunction request.
“Now that the unconstitutional gag order has finally been lifted, we are sure the White House and America are looking forward to finally hearing what Mary has to say,” Chris Bastardi, Mary Trump’s spokesman, said in a statement.
Mary Trump previously said the memoir aims to expose the psychological workings of a “toxic” family. White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany has called the work “a book of falsehoods” full of “absurd allegations.”
Robert Trump alleged the book would violate a secrecy deal the family struck as part of a 2001 settlement agreement over the will of the family’s late patriarch, Fred Trump. Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster argued the agreement isn’t valid and that it can’t override her First Amendment rights.
Monday’s decision is a victory for publisher Simon & Schuster Inc., which won a confidential auction over nearly a dozen competitors for the rights for the memoir. The company argued it would suffer serious financial and reputational harm if the book failed to go on sale as planned after so many copies had been printed and shipped.
“The unfettered right to publish is a sacred American freedom and a founding principle of our republic, and we applaud the court for affirming well-established precedents against prior restraint and pre-publication injunctions,” the publisher, represented by law firm Davis Wright Tremaine, said in a statement.
Greenwald placed a high bar for restraining publication of a book, saying Robert Trump hadn’t met it. The judge also made it clear that he gave significant weight to the fact that so many copies had been shipped and so many details of the book reported.
“Comparing the potential enormous cost and logistical nightmare of stopping the publication, recalling and removing hundreds of thousands of books from all types of booksellers, brick and mortar and virtual, libraries and private citizens, is an insurmountable task at this time,” the judge wrote.
Robert Trump’s lawyer Charles Harder didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
”The First Amendment forbids prior restraints because they are intolerable infringements on the right to participate in democracy,” Theodore Boutrous, Mary Trump’s lawyer with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, said in an emailed statement. “Tomorrow, the American public will be able to read Mary’s important words for themselves.”
Mary Trump wrote in the book that she was first moved to take action in 2017 as she watched “democracy disintegrating and people’s lives unraveling” as a result of her uncle’s actions. She also claims she was the source of leaked Trump Organization tax documents central to a Pulitzer Prize-winning report in the New York Times detailing the president’s finances and revealing financial schemes used by him in the 1990s to avoid tax liabilities.
The president previously dismissed the Times report as a “hit piece” that was “old” and “boring.”
The book was originally put under a temporary restraining order before a July 10 hearing, but an appeals court judge lifted the ban on publication. Simon & Schuster then announced it was moving up the publication date by two weeks to July 14.
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