The morning after President Trump’s lawyers slapped former chief strategist and Trump campaign manager Steve Bannon with a cease & desist order for allegedly violating his NDA from his time working for the Trump Organization, the Trump legal offensive is moving to the author himself, Michael Wolff.
As the Washington Post reported, Trump’s legal team is seeking to block "any further publication" of Wolff’s upcoming book, which is already No. 1 on Amazon and is set to be released Jan. 9, over its "reckless disregard for the truth."
The book has already led Trump to angrily denounce Bannon.
The legal notice — addressed to author Michael Wolff and the president of the book’s publisher — said Trump’s lawyers were pursuing possible charges including libel in connection with the forthcoming book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House."
The letter by Beverly Hills-based attorney Charles J. Harder demanded the publisher, Henry Holt and Co., "immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book,” including excerpts and summaries of the book’s contents, and requests a copy of the book in its entirety as they pursue possible legal action."
The lawyers also seek a full copy of the book as part of their investigation.
As reported before, the book, scheduled to publish next week, has sparked a major feud between Trump and Bannon. Several excerpts published Wednesday revealed interviews with Bannon in which he made incendiary comments about Trump and his family.
In one excerpt, Bannon described the 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” He also said there was “zero” chance that the president was not aware of the meeting.
"They're going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV," Bannon said. The president has repeatedly denied knowledge of the meeting.
After excerpts from the book were published, Trump issued a blistering statement denouncing Bannon, saying that the former chief strategist has “lost his mind,” and accusing him of “leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was.”
“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency,” Trump said. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”
A long time media reporter for New York Magazine and Vanity Fair, Wolff helped ingratiate himself into the Trump orbit early on, publishing interviews and profiles on Trump campaign figures like Bannon and Kelly Anne Conway. He also helped ingratiate himself with the new administration by defending Trump and criticizing the mainstream press on shows like CNN's "Reliable Sources" with Brian Stelter.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders spent the bulk of yesterday's press briefing rebutting details from the excerpts of Wolff's book that have appeared in the Washington Post and the Guardian.
In a separate story, the Washington Post rounded up some of the challenges to various details of Wolff's story.