Trump Seeks to Block Publication of Michael Wolff’s Book

President’s lawyers sent similar cease-and-desist letter to Steve Bannon on Wednesday

Last Updated: January 5, 2018 @ 10:45 AM

President Donald Trump has sent another cease and desist letter, this time to “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” tell-all author Michael Wolff and his publisher.

Trump’s lawyer Charles Harder has demanded that Wolff and his publisher Henry Holt and Co. Inc. “cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination,” accusing them of actual malice.

The letter states that “Actual malice (reckless disregard for the truth) can be proven by the fact that the Book admits in the Introduction that it contains untrue statements,” and that it “appears to cite to no sources for many of its most damaging statements about Mr. Trump.” It also says “many of your so-called ‘sources’ have stated publicly that they never spoke to Mr. Wolff and/or never made the statements that are being attributed to them.”

“Other alleged ‘sources’ of statements about Mr. Trump are believed to have no personal knowledge of the facts upon which they are making statements or are known to be unreliable and/or strongly biased against Mr. Trump,” the letter goes on to say.

Trump’s lawyer also seeks to preserve all notes, recordings, emails and records related to the book so they can be inspected in the event of an actual lawsuit.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for Henry Holt confirmed receipt of the letter and added: “We see ‘Fire and Fury’ as an extraordinary contribution to our national discourse, and are proceeding with the publication of the book.”

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon received a similar letter from Harder on Wednesday night; he is quoted several times in the book, according to excerpts that have been released ahead of its scheduled release next week.

The letter to Bannon said “his actions of communicating with author Michael Wolff regarding an upcoming book give rise to numerous legal claims including defamation by libel and slander, and breach of his written confidentiality and non-disparagement agreement with our clients. Legal action is imminent.”

Earlier Wednesday, Trump distanced himself from his former chief strategist with a harsh statement that said Bannon had “lost his mind.”

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” Trump’s statement said. He added that Bannon had little to do with his presidential win. “Now that he’s on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look,” the statement said.

Trump’s statement and cease and desist letters come after The Guardian reported that the upcoming Wolff book quotes Bannon blasting Trump Jr.’s decision to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer at Trump Tower during the campaign in 2016 as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”

Bannon, on the other hand, said Thursday morning, “nothing will ever come between” him and “President Trump and his agenda.”