The New York Times and Gannett news have been trying to gain access to Donald Trump’s sealed divorce records on the grounds that they are of public interest now that he is running for President. Politico reports that New York judge Frank Nervo has rejected that argument:
“Were the court to make the confidential records available for journalistic, and thus public, scrutiny, it would impermissibly inject itself into the political process by making the value judgment of what information is useful in determining the present candidate’s, or any other candidate’s, fitness for office,” Nervo wrote. “The court’s role in the electoral process is strictly limited to determining whether a candidate complies with the Election Law. The court will not take an action that exceeds that limitation.”
Judge Nervo’s decision specifically noted that, even if there was a public interest in unsealing the records of Donald Trump’s divorce, there is no similar public interest in unsealing Ivana’s records:
The court is obviously aware that one of the parties, who opposes this motion, is a presidential candidate. The court is also aware that the other party, who also opposes this application, is not seeking public office. If the court were to deprive the candidate party of his rights under the agreement and the statue on the grounds that there may be something in the confidential file that would be useful in determining his fitness for office, that ground does not exist in the case of his former wife who is not a candidate.
Both Donald and Ivana opposed unsealing the divorce records. Perhaps if Ivana had attempted to waive her privacy interest the judge might have ruled differently, but he writes that under the circumstances and under the law of New York he has no cause to violate her privacy.
Trump’s attorney told Politico, “We are pleased with the Court’s well-reasoned decision and order.” The NY Times has not indicated whether or not it will appeal the decision.
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