(Bloomberg) – Former President Donald Trump criticized his niece Mary’s argument as “pretextual” that her lawsuit claiming she was betrayed by much of her inheritance decades ago was not barred by a two-year statute of limitations.
Mary Trump, who wrote a bloody scrapbook about the family last year, sued her aunt and two uncles in September who plotted for decades to take tens of millions of dollars off their inheritance after their father and then grandfather died. Despite an earlier dispute of wills resolved in 2001, Mary Trump claims she first learned of the alleged fraud from an October 2018 New York Times report on Donald Trump’s finances, arguing that the statute would run from the date the article was published should.
“However, a simple reading of the Times article proves that this is a hollow argument, as the vast majority of it has nothing to do with a fraud lawsuit that the plaintiff is now bringing,” Donald Trump said in a March 25 trial that his supports previous motion for dismissal in New York State Court.
Trump noted that his niece was a source for the Times story and gave the newspaper documents she had received 20 years earlier in the will dispute. The portions of the article relating to the “facts and circumstances” of Mary Trump’s fraud claims were derived “from documents provided by the plaintiff herself,” he said.
A judge can argue on the matter before deciding on the motion to dismiss the case, which names Donald Trump, his late brother Robert, and sister Maryanne Trump Barry as defendants.
Mary Trump argues she could not have pieced together the fraud claims before the New York Times article on her own. The newspaper report, she says, was also based on “thousands of pages of other confidential records and interviews” from former employees, consultants and salespeople of the Trump family business.
“In fact, the documents the defendants had given Mary years earlier hushed up instead of exposing the defendants’ fraud,” Mary Trump’s attorney Roberta Kaplan said in a statement emailed.
If Trump’s attempt to dismiss the lawsuit fails, his niece will attempt to oath her uncle and propel the case towards possible trial, adding to a long list of legal threats to the former president.