(CN) — In a triumphant statement of liberté for the press, publisher Simon & Schuster spurned an attempt to block Mary Trump’s book “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” by bumping publication to Bastille Day.
The announcement falls the week after a New York appeals court ruled that the publisher is not specifically bound by any nondisclosure agreement that Mary Trump signed with her uncle President Donald Trump and his siblings.
“Unlike Ms. Trump, [Simon & Schuster] has not agreed to surrender or relinquish any of its First Amendment rights,” Justice Alan Scheinkman, the presiding judge of the state’s Appellate Division, Second Department, wrote in a 6-page ruling on Wednesday.
Ostensibly a legal offensive by another of her uncles, the president’s brother Robert Trump, the ongoing litigation has been described by Mary Trump’s spokesman Chris Bastardi as attempted censorship from the White House.
“The act by a sitting president to muzzle a private citizen is just the latest in a series of disturbing behaviors which have already destabilized a fractured nation in the face of a global pandemic,” Bastardi wrote in a statement. “If Mary cannot comment, one can only help but wonder: what is Donald Trump so afraid of?”
Originally slated for publication on July 28, Mary Trump’s tell-all book reportedly reveals her to be the source of a New York Times investigation two years ago accusing President Trump of obtaining his fortune through tax fraud. An excerpt from the book’s prologue promises more first-person revelations from a woman uniquely placed to describe it.
“In addition to the firsthand accounts I can give as my father’s daughter and my uncle’s only niece, I have the perspective of a trained clinical psychologist,” Mary Trump wrote in the excerpt. “‘Too Much and Never Enough’ is the story of the most visible and powerful family in the world. And I am the only Trump who is willing to tell it.”
Robert Trump never abandoned his attempt to block the book, and a restraining order still prevents “Mary L. Trump, together with any agent,” from publishing, printing or distributing it “or any portions thereof.”
Denying being Mary Trump’s agent, Simon & Schuster believes the revised restraining order exempts the company and any attempt to prevent the book from hitting shelves would violate constitutional protections against prior restraint of the press.
The Supreme Court’s ruling allowing The New York Times to publish the Pentagon Papers created a treasured precedent against government censorship except to avert the gravest threats to U.S. national security. President Trump first tried to weaken that watershed precedent by trying to block publication of his former Secretary of State John Bolton’s book “The Room Where It Happened,” claiming the memoirs contain classified information. Robert Trump’s lawsuit only alleges a contract dispute over an alleged nondisclosure agreement that Mary Trump signed two years after the 1999 death of her grandfather, Fred Trump, whose five children include the president, Robert Trump and Mary’s late father, Fred Jr.
In a recent affidavit, Mary Trump argued that deal was void and unenforceable because she claims her relatives — including President Trump — defrauded her into signing it.
“The New York Times’s detailed analysis and investigation revealed for the first time that the valuations on which I had relied in entering into the settlement agreement, and which were used to determine my compensation under the agreement, were fraudulent,” she wrote on July 2. “I relied on the false valuations provided to me by my uncles and aunt, and would never have entered into the agreement had I known the true value of the assets involved.”
Mary Trump’s uncles alluded to in that affidavit are Donald and Robert Trump. Maryanne Trump Barry, a former federal judge, is her aunt.
The book promises more revelations and gossip about the Trump family.
“She recounts in unsparing detail everything from her uncle Donald’s place in the family spotlight and Ivana’s penchant for regifting to her grandmother’s frequent injuries and illnesses and the appalling way Donald, Fred Trump’s favorite son, dismissed and derided him when he began to succumb to Alzheimer’s,” press materials about the book state.
Robert Trump’s attorney Charles Harder did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.