Politics is only dirty if you do it right:
Donald Trump and his ex-wife Ivana are fighting an effort to unseal records of their 1990 divorce, arguing that the real estate mogul’s presidential bid is no basis for prying into court filings related to the couple’s split.
The Trumps filed separate legal briefs Tuesday in state court in Manhattan, urging a judge to reject the unsealing motion brought last month by The New York Times and newspaper chain Gannett.
“In seeking to invade the Trumps’ 26-year-old confidential matrimonial files, the Times and Gannett, as shown in Mr. Trump’s filing in opposition to their motion, rely on entirely unprecedented and erroneous arguments that are contrary to the protections afforded by the Legislature over 150 years ago,” attorney Marc Kasowitz wrote in Donald Trump’s response to the media motion.
In addition to her legal arguments against the unsealing, Ivana Trump submitted a personal affidavit with the court, pleading to keep the records private.
“I do not want the details of our divorce (most of which have already been reported extensively) to be opened up and displayed to the general public for their misinterpretation and amusement,” Ivana Trump wrote. “Donald and I currently share a warm relationship and our family should not be forced to relive this part of our past because he is running for president.”
Under New York law, divorce records are normally sealed, but can be released if a judge decides that “special circumstances” justify disclosure.
The Times and Gannett argued that Donald Trump’s treatment of women, finances and personal credibility are at issue in the presidential campaign, creating an “intense” public interest in the divorce files. The news outlets also noted that the divorce was granted in 1990 on grounds of “cruel and inhuman treatment” by the real estate mogul.
However, Donald Trump’s lawyers say the interests advanced by the media don’t amount to the kind of “special circumstances” that justify disregarding the presumption of secrecy.
“The courts [in New York] have never overridden those protections because of a purported public interest in vetting political candidates,” wrote Kasowitz and other attorneys from the New York-based firm Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman as well as longtime Trump Organization lawyer Michael Cohen. “There is simply no importance, overriding or otherwise, to unsealing the matrimonial records of a political candidate.”
In 2004 Barack Obama was supposed to face Republican Jack Ryan in the Illinois Senate race. But in June a California judge unsealed the child custody records in the divorce file of Jack and Jeri Ryan. The salacious details were revealed and Ryan had to withdraw from the race. Obama went on to defeat replacement Alan Keyes in the general election.
Deputy White House counsel Vince Foster committed suicide after writing a note saying, among other things, that he “was not meant for the job or the spotlight of public life in Washington,” officials said today.
“Here, ruining people is considered sport,” he said in the note found torn to pieces almost a week after his death July 20.