New York Times headquarters
New York Times headquartersiStock

A lawsuit by former US President Donald Trump against the New York Times has been thrown out of court by a judge, BBC News reported.

The $100 million lawsuit had alleged that the Times and Trump’s niece Mary Trump were behind an “insidious plot” to obtain Trump’s tax records.

Trump launched the suit in September 2021, accusing his estranged niece, 56, of breaking a settlement agreement in which she agreed not to disclose the documents.

It also alleged that Times reporters Susanne Craig, David Barstow and Russell Buettner had spoken with Mary Trump for a series on the former President that won a Pulitzer Prize due to a “personal vendetta” against him.

"A group of journalists with the New York Times, in the middle of an extensive crusade to obtain Donald J. Trump's confidential tax records, relentlessly sought out his niece Mary... and convinced her to smuggle the records out of her attorney's office," the lawsuit said.

It sought compensation of at least $100 million, stating that Trump had "suffered significant damages.”

Judge Robert Reed said in a ruling on Wednesday: "Courts have long recognized that reporters are entitled to engage in legal and ordinary news gathering activities... as these actions are at the very core of protected First Amendment activity.”

Reed also ordered that Trump must pay the legal costs of the Times and its three reporters who were listed in the suit.

Trump’s attorney was quoted by the Associated Press as saying the former president’s legal team would “weigh our client's options.”

The Times said through a spokesperson that it was “pleased” with the court ruling, according to the BBC.

"It is an important precedent reaffirming that the press is protected when it engages in routine news gathering,” the spokesperson said.