Last week, Charles Harder, one of Donald Trump’s attorney’s sent a threatening letter to Henry Holt — the publishing house which was set to publish Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House — in an effort to block the book’s release.
As we now know, the publisher instead ended up releasing the book days in advance, and to ravenous demand. Fire and Fury immediately shot up to the top of bestseller lists and has remained there, despite the arguable attempt to sabotage book sales by Wikileaks promoting a pirated copy of the book.
This week, attorneys for Michael Wolff’s publisher fired back at Trump’s attorneys, calling the legal threats against the author “a gross violation of the First Amendment” and assuring everyone that publication of Fire and Fury would continue.
Elizabeth McNamara, with the firm of Davis Wright Tremaine, sent a 3 page letter written on behalf of both Wolff and publisher Henry Holt. She made it clear that not only would Fire and Fury be plublished — there would be no apologies and no retractions.
McNamara’s letter reads, in part:
“We have no reason to doubt – and your letter provides no reason to change this conclusion – that Mr. Wolff’s book is an accurate report on events of vital public importance,” McNamara wrote. “Mr. Trump is the president of the United States, with the ‘bully pulpit’ at his disposal. To the extent he disputes any statement in the book, he has the largest platform in the world to challenge it.”
As for the argument by Trump’s lawyers, when trying to halt publication, that the book’s credibility should be questioned because Wolff offers a disclaimer in the book that sometimes staffers would give differing accounts of events, and that he chose the most plausible narrative, McNamara offered the following rebuttal:
“Mr. Wolff responsibly tells his readers his approach to confronting the well-established reality that many in this administration, most prominently the president, routinely traffic in verifiably false statements,” McNamara writes. “Thus, Mr. Wolff explains how he attempted to reconcile conflicting accounts.”
One thing is certain: without poring over the hilarious details of Trump’s self-delusion, lazy work ethic, or the lack of respect his staffers have for him — this White House is pure amateur hour.
Just as one should never bring a knife to a gun fight, one should never send a reality star or realtor to preside over a nation. Trump’s public reaction to this book has made him appear less stable, more petulant, less capable, less intelligent, and more dictatorial.
This president, his inner circle, and his legal team would be hard pressed to have botched their handling of Fire and Fury more thoroughly… unless perhaps there was a triple-dog-dare on the line.