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Sat Oct 17, 2020, 07:05 PM

The Justice Department lets itself be used to bully critics of Donald and Melania Trump

Opinion by Editorial Board

EXACTLY WHICH detail in the tell-all book by a former adviser and confidant of first lady Melania Trump prompted the Justice Department to take the extraordinary action of suing the author? Was it Ms. Trump’s dislike of her stepdaughter? Her nonchalance about her husband’s behavior and lewd comments about women? Her obsession with her image? As titillating as some of those revelations may be — and embarrassing to President Trump and his wife — they are not matters of national security or information that is classified. It is alarming to see the Justice Department used yet again to retaliate against people who are exercising their First Amendment rights.

The Justice Department filed suit Tuesday in federal court against Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a onetime friend of Ms. Trump, alleging she violated a nondisclosure agreement she signed when she volunteered in the East Wing in 2017. The book, “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady,” sketches an unflattering picture of the first lady, buttressed by the release of tapes secretly recorded of Ms. Trump. “Who gives a [expletive] about the Christmas stuff and decorations?” she was recorded as saying, expressing her frustration at being criticized for the administration’s family separation policy at the same time she was expected to perform the traditional duties of the first lady, such as overseeing holiday decorations for the White House. The suit seeks to claim all proceeds from the sale of the book.

The lawsuit is the Justice Department’s latest effort to try to block damaging disclosures about Mr. Trump. Last month, it moved to replace Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers with government attorneys in a defamation suit brought against him by a woman who accused him of raping her in a department store in the 1990s. It sued unsuccessfully to block publication of former national security adviser John Bolton’s scathing memoir and now seeks to seize Mr. Bolton’s advance.

In Mr. Bolton’s case, there is at least some claim to be litigated about the possible disclosure of classified information. No such argument can be made about Ms. Winston Wolkoff. Material in her book is the standard fare of memoirs that have come to be somewhat of a tradition by former White House aides and are clearly protected by the First Amendment.


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Reply The Justice Department lets itself be used to bully critics of Donald and Melania Trump (Original post)
Zorro Oct 17 OP
machoneman Oct 17 #1

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Oct 17, 2020, 07:47 PM

1. Just one more ridiculous claim and use of taxpayer $ to protect a Trump. Will be thrown out of court

after trumpy loses the election. We should bill him for use of government lawyers!

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