A book by Donald Trump’s niece can be released as planned, an appellate judge ruled Wednesday, the latest defeat for family members hoping to rein in an explosive account scheduled to be published this month.
Judge Alan Scheinkman said Simon & Schuster can move forward with publishing Mary L. Trump’s “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” overturning a restraining order granted earlier this week that temporarily blocked the memoir. The publisher had argued that tens of thousands of copies had already been shipped, a similar line of reasoning that aided the publication last month of former national security adviser John Bolton’s book about his time in the White House.
Though the restraining order was lifted against Simon & Schuster, it remains in place for Mary Trump, the daughter of the president’s older brother, and the case against her will likely move ahead next week.
“We support Mary L. Trump’s right to tell her story in ‘Too Much and Never Enough,’ a work of great interest and importance to the national discourse that fully deserves to be published for the benefit of the American public,” the publisher said in a statement to The New York Times. “As all know, there are well-established precedents against prior restraint and pre-publication injunctions.”
An attorney for Mary Trump told The Washington Post that the ruling was “very good news” and called for the restraining order to be lifted against his client as well.
“We look forward to filing our brief [Thursday] in the trial court explaining why the same result is required as to Ms. Trump, based on the First Amendment and basic contract law,” the lawyer, Theodore Boutrous, said.
The president’s younger brother, Robert Trump, filed for a temporary restraining order last week, saying Mary Trump had violated a nondisclosure agreement she signed in 2001 linked to a bitter court battle over the estate of Trump’s father.
“Her attempt to sensationalize and mischaracterize our family relationship after all of these years for her own financial gain is both a travesty and injustice to the memory of my late brother, Fred, and our beloved parents,” Robert Trump said in a statement at the time.
The book, called a “revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him,” reportedly includes salacious details about the president. The Daily Beast also said it will disclose that Mary Trump was the source behind a Pulitzer Prize-winning story showing Trump inherited the equivalent today of more than $400 million from his father’s real estate empire through a series of tax schemes.
The judge on Wednesday wrote: “Whatever legitimate public interest there may have been in the family disputes of a real estate developer and his relatives may be considerably heightened by that real estate developer now being President of the United States and a current candidate for re-election.”
President Trump has simply said that his niece is “not allowed” to write the book, pointing to the nondisclosure agreement. He also rejected assertions reportedly included in the book that he “dismissed and derided” his father, Fred Trump Sr., when he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
“I didn’t know that she said that,” Trump told Axios last month. “That’s a disgraceful thing to say.”
If published as planned, the book would be the latest hit to the Trump orbit. Bolton’s memoir included a series of damning claims about his former boss’s behavior. The book has already sold more than 780,000 copies, and Simon & Schuster has ordered another printing that will see a million copies in circulation.