An appeals court has dismissed Donald Trump’s lawsuit against the New York Times.

The newspaper and Mr. Trump’s estranged niece, Mary Trump, were accused of “an insidious plot” to obtain his tax information in the $100 million (£79 million) lawsuit.

It refers to a Pulitzer Prize-winning series on Mr. Trump’s financial issues and was filed in 2021.

On Wednesday, Judge Robert Reed said the claims in the lawsuit “fail as a matter of constitutional law”.

“Courts have long recognised that reporters are entitled to engage in legal and ordinary newsgathering activities… as these actions are at the very core of protected First Amendment activity,” he wrote in his ruling.

The judge, a Democrat, also ordered Mr Trump to pay the legal costs for the newspaper and the three reporters listed as defendants.

“The New York Times is pleased with the judge’s decision today,” a spokesman said. “It is an important precedent reaffirming that the press is protected when it engages in routine newsgathering.”

A lawyer for Mr Trump, quoted by the Associated Press, said “we will weigh our client’s options”.

The 2018 investigation alleged that the former president was involved in “dubious tax schemes” and raised questions over his claim to be a self-made millionaire.

The lawsuit accused three journalists who reported on the story, Susanne Craig, David Barstow and Russell Buettner, of contacting and working with Mr Trump’s niece as part of a “personal vendetta” against him. It claimed they relentlessly pursued her and convinced her to turn over documents.

By gvoice

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