'Fire and Fury' publisher responds to Trump legal threat

The CEO of the parent company for the publisher of Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury" shot back on Monday to ...

Posted: Jan 8, 2018 3:31 PM
Updated: Jan 8, 2018 3:31 PM

The CEO of the parent company for the publisher of Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury" shot back on Monday to last week's demand from President Trump's attorney that it cease and desist further dissemination of the book.

John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan, the parent company of Henry Holt, outlined in a memo to employees the company's "firm" response to Trump, telling staff it "is a matter of great importance" that is about "much more" than the book itself.

"The president is free to call news 'fake' and to blast the media. That goes against convention, but it is not unconstitutional," Sargent wrote. "But a demand to cease and desist publication-a clear effort by the President of the United States to intimidate a publisher into halting publication of an important book on the workings of the government-is an attempt to achieve what is called prior restraint. That is something that no American court would order as it is flagrantly unconstitutional."

Related: President Trump tries to quash bombshell book

Charles Harder, an attorney representing Trump, sent a letter last week to Henry Holt demanding the publisher "cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination" of the book, alleging the book contained "false/baseless statements" about the president.

But Henry Holt saw things differently. Instead of ceasing distribution of the book, the publisher released it to the public several days early.

Sargent said in his memo that the company would send Trump a formal legal response on Monday.

"There is no ambiguity here. This is an underlying principle of our democracy. We cannot stand silent," Sargent wrote in his memo. "We will not allow any president to achieve by intimidation what our Constitution precludes him or her from achieving in court.-We need to respond strongly for Michael Wolff and his book, but also for all authors and all their books, now and in the future. And as citizens we must demand that President Trump understand and abide by the First Amendment of our Constitution."

Wolff's "Fire and Fury" has dominated the media cycle since excerpts were released last week.

The book portrays Trump's aides and allies as questioning the president's mental fitness for office. CNN has not independently confirmed all of Wolff's assertions.

Trump has slammed the book and its author, even responding to questions about his mental fitness for office. In a series of tweets over the weekend, he said his "two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart," and called himself a "very stable genius."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307332

Reported Deaths: 7095
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20757248
Hinds19869408
Harrison17475302
Rankin13307275
Jackson13095243
Madison9886210
Lee9854169
Jones8289160
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Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125833
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite119941
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105332
Tunica102525
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Benton97225
Kemper95126
Humphreys94332
Franklin81723
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518588

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753351487
Mobile37698798
Madison33829494
Tuscaloosa25245443
Montgomery23942565
Shelby23094238
Baldwin20617300
Lee15510165
Calhoun14277311
Morgan14137268
Etowah13660345
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Houston10379278
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Walker7087275
Jackson6753110
Autauga6715103
Blount6480135
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Dale4766110
Russell428238
Franklin419882
Chilton4080109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3892146
Escambia387574
Dallas3526149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305475
Lawrence295295
Winston272272
Bibb256258
Marengo248561
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218675
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176741
Monroe171240
Washington163838
Macon154348
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
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Coosa99228
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