Mary L. Trump Interview on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow
President Donald Trump and two of his siblings were sued Thursday by their niece Mary, who accused them of fraud for allegedly defrauding her of millions of dollars she was entitled to after her father’s death.
Besides the president, the other defendants are retired Federal Court of Appeals Judge Maryanne Trump Barry and the executor of the estate of Robert Trump, who died last month.
“For Donald J. Trump, his sister Maryanne and their late brother Robert, fraud was not just a family business – it was a way of life,” according to the Mary Trump trial. “All in all, they stole tens of millions of dollars or more from him.”
The New York State Supreme Court lawsuit in Manhattan follows the publication of Mary Trump’s best-selling book, which sharply criticized the president.
And it comes less than six weeks before the November 3 election, in which the president faces a challenge from Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Last summer, a lawsuit filed under Robert Trump’s name did not prevent the publication of Mary Trump’s book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.”
This lawsuit claimed Mary Trump violated a non-disclosure agreement she signed to settle a similar legal claim regarding the denial of assets owed to her.
Donald Trump with his sister Maryanne Trump Barry and his brother Robert Trump attend the opening of the Trump Taj Mahal in April 1990 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Sonia Moskowitz | Getty Images
Mary Trump’s retrial claims her aunt and uncles pledged to look after her financial interests when their brother and father, Fred Trump Jr., died in 1981. Mary was 16 at the time.
“Upon her death, Mary inherited valuable minority interests in the family business,” says the lawsuit.
But instead of protecting its interests, according to the trial, the defendants “lied”.
“They devised and implemented a complex plan to divert funds from her interests, conceal their hold and deceive her about the true value of what she had inherited,” the lawsuit says.
The alleged schemes included billing “exorbitant management fees, consulting fees and salaries” from companies that were part of Mary’s financial holdings.
“The defendants committed three fraudulent schemes against Mary,” says the lawsuit.
“Each scheme was a fraud in itself, but they also leaned on each other. First, the defendants fraudulently siphoned off the value of Mary’s interests from entities owned and controlled by the defendants, while disguising these transfers as legitimate business transactions (the ‘Grift’), “the suit says.
“Second, the defendants have fraudulently written down the value of Mary’s interest and the net income they generated, in part through fraudulent valuations and financial statements (the ‘devaluation’),” the lawsuit says.
Third, after the death of Fred Sr., the defendants forced Mary to the negotiating table by threatening to bankrupt Mary’s interests and rescinding the health care policy that maintained [Mary’s brother] The infant son of Fred III alive, and once at the table The defendants presented Mary with a stack of fraudulent valuations and financial statements, as well as a written agreement that itself commemorated their fraud and obtained her signature ( the “forced withdrawal”). “
“Through each of these schemes, the defendants not only deliberately defrauded Mary of what was rightfully hers, but they also kept her in the dark about it – until now,” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit makes claims for fraud, civil conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty.
The lawsuit says Mary Trump, who previously reached a financial settlement with her uncles and aunt over claims to the estate of her grandfather Fred Trump Sr., learned that she would have been entitled to much more after a New York Times briefing on the Trump family in 2018.
The deal she struck two decades ago assumed the Trump family’s estate was worth $ 30 million, according to Mary Trump. But she later came to believe it was closer to a billion dollars.
“My uncles Donald and Robert and my Aunt Maryanne were supposed to protect me as trustees,” Mary Trump said in a statement.
“Recently, I learned that instead of protecting me, they instead betrayed me by working together in secret to steal from me, by telling lie after lie about the value of what I had inherited and by inciting me to give everything for a fraction. of its true value, ”said Mary Trump.
“I bring this case to hold them accountable and to reclaim what is rightfully mine.”
Mary Trump is represented by lawyer Roberta Kaplan, who represents writer E. Jean Carroll in a civil libel suit against the president for claiming that Carroll lied by saying that she was raped by him in the mid-years 1990 in the locker room of a Manhattan department store.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, when asked about the trial, told reporters: “The only fraud there was Mary Trump registering someone close to her, and she truly discredited herself. “
McEnany’s statement referred to the fact that Mary Trump had secretly recorded her aunt, Barry, in 2018 and 2019, speaking about President Trump.
The Washington Post, in an article last month detailing these calls, said Barry said of President Trump: “He has no principles. None,” that the president regularly lies, that he “was a kid. “as a teenager when she did her homework for him.
“This is the sound of it all,” Barry said on a call quoted by The Post. “It’s noise and cruelty. Donald is cruel.”
A lawyer for Robert Trump did not immediately return CNBC’s requests for comment on the trial. Contact details for Maryanne Trump Barry were not immediately available.
Fred Trump Sr., a real estate developer, died in 1999.