QUEENS, N.Y. (CN) — A judge refused to block publication of a tell-all book from the president’s niece Mary Trump, ruling Thursday that the suit belongs in another court.
“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,” First Amendment attorney Ted Boutrous, from the firm Gibson Dunn, said in a statement. “We hope this decision will end the matter.
“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,” Boutrous added.
Trump’s attorney Charles Harder signaled that he has no intention to concede defeat in the quest to squelch publication of “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” a book by Mary Trump set to hit bookstores July 28.
“Today, the Surrogate’s Court ruled that it does not have jurisdiction over the dispute,” Harder said in a statement. “Therefore, Robert Trump will proceed with filing a new lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court.”
Harder had initially filed in Queens Surrogate’s Court, saying this venue was demanded as the site of a settlement said to feature a nondisclosure agreement that Mary Trump and some of her relatives including the president’s younger brother Robert Trump signed in 2001.
On Thursday, that claim fell flat.
“The mere fact that the terms of the agreement alleged to be violated are contained in a stipulation of settlement arrived at during a probate contest is not enough, standing alone, to empower this court to obtain jurisdiction,” the ruling by Surrogate Peter Kelley states. “The irrefutable conclusion is, regardless of the outcome of this matter, the administration of this estate will not be impacted one iota.”
News of the new tell-all first broke out on June 15, with the Daily Beast reporting that Mary Trump would reveal how she became of the source of the bombshell New York Times investigation accusing the president explicitly of tax fraud.
Publisher Simon & Schuster have billed that tome as providing “insider’s perspective” of “countless holiday meals,” “family interactions” and “family events.”
Trump’s legal team pounced on Tuesday in a drive to prevent the book’s publication.
“These descriptions make clear that the book will contain confidential information about Mary L. Trump’s relationship with [President Trump, brother Robert Trump, and Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, his sister] together with the entire Trump family,” the petition states.
Through the president’s efforts to block John Bolton‘s book and the suit against Mary Trump filed by his brother, both cases strive to weaken the Supreme Court’s landmark Pentagon Papers decision — a watershed First Amendment ruling setting an extraordinarily high bar against prior restraint of the press. No U.S. president has sought to test its restrictions on government censorship since the days of Richard Nixon.
Trump’s Supreme Court lawsuit against his niece was not available by press time.