President Donald Trump‘s Department of Justice got directly involved in trying to stop Melania Trump‘s ex-best friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff from publishing her tell-all, ‘Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of my Friendship with the First Lady.’
The Daily Beast reported Wednesday that on July 15, Ethan P. Davis, the acting assistant attorney general of the DOJ’s Civil Division, contacted Wolkoff’s attorney and referenced a non-disclosure agreement Wolkoff had signed for her time spent working on Trump’s 2017 inauguration and serving as a senior adviser to the first lady.
A week before, The Daily Beast had broke the story that Wolkoff was releasing such a book, teasing it as an ‘explosive’ tell-all before the 2020 election.
The Department of Justice got directly involved in trying to stop the publication of a book by Melania Trump’s ex-best friend and former aide, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff (pictured)
The Trumps’ personal lawyer and the acting assistant attorney general of the DOJ’s Civil Division both reached out to Wolkoff’s lawyers trying to enforce a non-disclosure agreement she had signed in 2017 with first lady Melania Trump (pictured)
The Trumps’ personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz quickly got involved sending a letter to Wolkoff and her publisher, Simon & Schuster, on July 8 – a day after The Daily Beast’s scoop ran.
The letter said the book breached the confidentiality clause in a ‘Gratuitous Services Agreement’ between Wolkoff and the first lady, which was signed on August 22, 2017.
‘The Services Agreement prohibits Ms. Wolkoff from, among other things, disclosing her work for FLOTUS and the White House Office of the First Lady, as well as any information furnished to [her] by the Government under this Agreement, information about the First Family, or any other information about which [she] may become aware during the course of her performance,’ the letter states, according to The Daily Beast.
The former FLOTUS aide’s attorneys called Kasowitz’s claims ‘unfounded and meritless’ and argued that the Gratuitous Services Agreement did not apply two years later.
A week later, the DOJ sent Wolkoff’s lawyers a similar letter.
‘If these reports are true, the book appears to contain government information that Ms. Wolkoff expressly promised to not disclose,’ the letter penned by Davis said.
‘Please confirm immediately, but no later than July 17, that Ms. Wolkoff’s book will not contain any information covered by the agreement,’ it continued. ‘If you are unable to do so, the government will pursue all available legal remedies.’
The book was published September 1.
A DOJ spokesperson did not return The Daily Beast’s request for comment on whether ‘legal remedies’ were pursued.
Bradley Moss, a national security lawyer interviewed by The Daily Beast, explained that, ‘If this concerned an agreement she signed with the government for work she performed for the Office of the First Lady, then there is nothing improper with DOJ reminding her of the terms of that agreement.’
‘However, you really have to wonder if DOJ really has nothing better to do with its time,’ Moss sadi.
A spokesperson for the first lady did not respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.