'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: 320292

Reported Deaths: 7390
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22299271
Hinds20782424
Harrison18455317
Rankin13933282
Jackson13740249
Madison10276225
Lee10068176
Jones8475167
Forrest7845153
Lauderdale7263242
Lowndes6524150
Lamar636688
Lafayette6315121
Washington5427138
Bolivar4842133
Panola4671110
Oktibbeha466398
Pearl River4610148
Marshall4576105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc426173
Monroe4163136
Union415977
Neshoba4066180
Lincoln4009113
Hancock387687
Leflore3516125
Tate342586
Sunflower339491
Pike3374111
Alcorn327474
Scott320374
Yazoo314771
Adams308586
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma299084
Simpson298689
Tippah292468
Prentiss284461
Leake272474
Marion271480
Covington267283
Wayne264842
Grenada264087
George252451
Newton249064
Tishomingo232469
Winston230382
Jasper222148
Attala215173
Chickasaw210759
Holmes190574
Stone188833
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174232
Yalobusha167940
Smith164134
Walthall135547
Greene131934
Lawrence131424
Montgomery128943
Noxubee128034
Perry127538
Amite126542
Carroll122330
Webster115132
Jefferson Davis108534
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96729
Franklin85023
Quitman82316
Choctaw79218
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66328
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 549394

Reported Deaths: 11328
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810851571
Mobile42180832
Madison35733524
Tuscaloosa26186460
Shelby25638255
Montgomery25103615
Baldwin21921314
Lee16301176
Calhoun14725329
Morgan14650286
Etowah14192364
Marshall12465230
Houston10798289
Elmore10302214
Limestone10191157
St. Clair10166251
Cullman9975201
Lauderdale9621250
DeKalb8978190
Talladega8467184
Walker7351281
Autauga7244113
Jackson6993113
Blount6957139
Colbert6418140
Coffee5650128
Dale4931116
Russell455241
Chilton4476116
Franklin432082
Covington4283123
Tallapoosa4137155
Escambia402380
Chambers3731124
Dallas3609158
Clarke353361
Marion3264107
Pike314878
Lawrence3135100
Winston283672
Bibb268664
Geneva258782
Marengo250566
Pickens237062
Barbour234460
Hale227078
Butler225071
Fayette219763
Henry194844
Randolph187744
Cherokee187545
Monroe181041
Washington170639
Macon163051
Clay160159
Crenshaw156157
Cleburne153744
Lamar147237
Lowndes142154
Wilcox126830
Bullock124642
Conecuh113830
Coosa112129
Perry108826
Sumter106032
Greene93734
Choctaw62125
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