They Really Do Care; Trump Justice Department Targets Melania Tell-All Book Author
In yet another case of Donald Trump treating U.S. Attorney General William Barr as his personal attorney/fixer, the Justice Department on Tuesday filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Washington accusing Stephanie Winston Wolkoff of breaking a non-disclosure agreement with first lady Melania Trump by publishing her tell-all book and seeking to confiscate her book sale proceeds.
“Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With The First Lady” grabbed huge headlines when it was published September 1 for the unflattering behind-the-scenes details it dished about Melania, her relationship with her president husband and her feelings about some of the duties of the first lady.
The Justice Department claimed it can use taxpayer money to go after the author because it has jurisdiction in the case due to the first lady’s traditional public role. It claims that the book was not submitted to the government for review before publication and asks that any profits Winston Wolkoff realizes from books sales or any future movie deals or documentaries be set aside in a “constructive trust” to be run by the U.S. Treasury. The government does not allege that the book discloses any classified information.
Winston Wolkoff had been a long-time friend and confidant of Melania Trump until questions arose about the cost of Trump’s inauguration festivities, which were overseen by the author. When their relationship began to sour, Winston Wolkoff began recording conversations with Melania and released several recordings in conjunction with publications of her book.
Donald Trump also has used Barr and the Justice Department to go after former national security adviser John Bolton for allegedly disclosing classified information in his tell-all book “The Room Where it Happened.”