Trump's niece faces lawsuit after writing 'revelatory' book

It's as if Donald Trump's presidency is a full-employment plan for lawyers.
A gavel sits on a desk inside the Court of Appeals at the new Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center, which celebrated its official opening on Monday Jan. 14, 2013, in Denver.
A gavel sits on a desk inside the Court of Appeals at the new Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center, which celebrated its official opening on Monday Jan. 14, 2013, in Denver.Brennan Linsley / AP

Referring to his niece, Mary Trump, Donald Trump told Axios the other day, "She's not allowed to write a book." She nevertheless already wrote it, and as NBC News reported, the president's niece is now facing a court fight ahead of the book's publication.

President Donald Trump's family has gone to court to try to block publication of his niece's book about him, her publisher and her lawyer confirmed to NBC News.

If you're new to the story, Mary Trump's book, "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man," is scheduled to be released next month. According to her publisher, Simon & Schuster, the book is a "revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him."

It's also likely to shed some interesting light on one of the more embarrassing revelations surrounding the president: the New York Times reported that Mary Trump's book is expected to say she was "a chief source" for the newspaper's coverage of the president's finances, "and that she provided the newspaper with confidential tax documents."

As regular readers may recall, the Times' exhaustive research uncovered evidence of "dubious tax schemes" and "outright fraud" that Trump exploited to receive hundreds of millions of dollars from his father. The findings painted a picture in which the president, far from the self-made man he pretends to be, relied heavily on legally dubious family handouts.

According to the president, however, Mary Trump is bound by a non-disclosure agreement reached as part of a court fight over their grandfather's estate 20 years ago.

I'm happy to let legal experts speak to this with far more authority than I can offer, but as the recent fight over John Bolton's book makes clear, it takes an awful lot for a court to block publication of a book -- at least in this country -- and since Mary Trump's book almost certainly doesn't include potentially classified information, the odds of a judge putting a halt to the book's release aren't great.

In fact, we're far more likely to see another example of the "Streisand Effect," with the litigating generating greater attention for the book the president apparently doesn't want the public to see.

But it's also worth pausing to appreciate just how many legal developments are swirling around Trump World right now. As the Washington Post's Dana Milbank noted last week, in addition to the Mary Trump case, there's the Bolton lawsuit, the cease-and-desist letter to CNN, and the reportedly threats to sue the president's campaign manager.

Milbank added, "Trump's campaign has sued The Post, the New York Times and CNN, and Trump has threatened to sue Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Robert Mueller and 'everyone all over the place' over the Russia probe."

It's as if Trump's presidency is a full-employment plan for lawyers.