Donald Trump sued by niece Mary alleging family defrauded her2 min read . Updated: 25 Sep 2020, 11:30 AM IST
The suit filed Thursday by Mary Trump comes two months after the publication of her damning tell-all book about the family, which the president’s late brother, Robert Trump, failed to halt in court
President Donald Trump was sued by his niece Mary for allegedly conspiring with his brother and sister to defraud her of tens of millions of dollars using false documents and bogus loans.
The suit filed Thursday by Mary Trump comes two months after the publication of her damning tell-all book about the family, which the president’s late brother, Robert Trump, failed to halt in court. Mary Trump’s suit, which focuses on the settlement of disputed wills, brings to light more potentially damaging allegations less than six weeks before the presidential election.
She claims Donald Trump, along with Robert Trump and their sister Maryanne, failed to follow through on a pledge to “watch over her interests as fiduciaries" after she inherited minority interests in the family business following the death of her father Fred Trump Jr., the president’s older brother, according to the complaint.
“They lied," the complaint says. “Rather than protect Mary’s interests, they designed and carried out a complex scheme to siphon funds away from her interests, conceal their grift, and deceive her about the true value of what she had inherited."
Asked about the lawsuit at a press conference Thursday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany criticized the president’s niece for secretly recording a relative, an apparent reference to audio clips from her conversations with Maryanne Trump, which were made public last month. In the recordings, Maryanne Trump is heard criticizing the president for his lies, tweets and immigration policies.
“The only fraud committed there was Mary Trump recording one of her relatives," McEnany said at the briefing. “She has really discredited herself."
McEnany has previously called Mary Trump’s memoir “a book of falsehoods" full of “absurd allegations."
The suit includes claims that when Donald Trump’s father, Fred, died in 1999, Trump and his siblings tried to “squeeze Mary out altogether." She accused her aunt and uncles of siphoning money from her interests by using bogus loans, among other things. They also allegedly threatened to bankrupt Mary Trump’s interests and cut her off from the health insurance she claims was keeping her infant nephew with cerebral palsy alive.
Crucially, Mary Trump claims, the president and his siblings gave her fraudulent valuations as part of a 2001 settlement agreement over the wills and “forced her to sign." The family members all signed a confidentiality agreement as part of the settlement.
Robert Trump, who died in August, sued Mary Trump in a failed effort to block the publication of her tell-all memoir, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man." She claims in the book that when she agreed to the settlement she was told the family estate was worth $30 million, while paperwork she unearthed years later show it was worth closer to $1 billion.
The memoir, which portrays Donald Trump as a liar and narcissist who was coddled by an overbearing father, an incurious press and reckless banks, went on sale in July as planned after a judge refused to issue an injunction against its release.
The lawsuit doubles down on some of the claims she made in the book, accusing the Trump siblings of taking control of their late father’s real-estate empire in the 1980s and exploiting it to enrich themselves.
“For Donald J. Trump, his sister Maryanne, and their late brother Robert, fraud was not just the family business -- it was a way of life," Mary Trump said in the complaint. “They concocted scheme after scheme to cheat on their taxes, swindle their business partners, and jack up rents on their low-income tenants.