Lawyers for President Donald Trump are attempting to take legal action that would prevent the publication of Michael Wolff's forthcoming book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
The Washington Post has obtained a copy of a letter sent by Trump lawyer Charles J. Harder that was sent to publishing company Henry Holt and Co., which has rights to the new book. The letter demands that the publisher “immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book,” including excerpts and summaries.
The letter also threatened legal action for libel against the publisher, based on excerpts that have already been published.
The book has already caused significant controversy for the White House based on controversial excerpts, which included a number of disparaging comments that were made about Trump’s family and campaign by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
The excerpts caused the White House to issue a blistering statement accusing Bannon of overstating his role in the White House and being the source of a number of leaks to the media.
Trump’s legal team also threatened Bannon himself with legal action, accusing him of breaching a confidentiality agreement and possibly defaming the president. For his part, Bannon responded to the White House’s tirade by offering a show of support for the president last night, calling him a “great man” and saying, “I support him day in and day out.”
Wolff has claimed that he has tape recordings of his interviews, including interviews with Bannon.
Wolff’s book is scheduled to be published on Jan. 9. It is unlikely that any court would block publication of the book due to the doctrine of prior restraint, but Trump’s legal team likely hopes that they can intimidate the publisher into voluntarily withdrawing publication due to the threat of monetary damages.