'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: 250869

Reported Deaths: 5481
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17010171
Hinds16091318
Harrison13250193
Rankin10629208
Jackson10216182
Lee8759141
Madison8186161
Jones6222109
Forrest5917118
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Washington4770123
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Marshall339165
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Tate269560
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Hancock260458
Pike259977
Scott244745
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Copiah239149
Simpson233967
Leake229564
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Newton189142
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Tishomingo182159
Holmes168167
Jasper167735
Clay158233
Stone141520
Tallahatchie139234
Clarke137460
Calhoun135121
Smith119423
Yalobusha116134
Walthall111736
Noxubee110222
Greene109129
Montgomery109134
Carroll104121
Lawrence102117
Perry100531
Amite96825
Webster91924
Tunica86021
Claiborne85525
Jefferson Davis84025
Humphreys82624
Benton81023
Kemper76620
Quitman6838
Franklin65815
Choctaw60013
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53419
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1596
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 420681

Reported Deaths: 6119
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61755921
Mobile30058548
Madison26852186
Tuscaloosa20652266
Montgomery18876305
Shelby18421114
Baldwin16176182
Lee12393101
Morgan12175113
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DeKalb767197
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St. Clair7502120
Talladega6145108
Walker5880174
Jackson578841
Colbert529873
Blount529283
Autauga515455
Coffee438156
Dale394381
Franklin365248
Chilton335365
Covington326968
Russell326810
Escambia316142
Dallas302896
Chambers281869
Clarke279633
Tallapoosa2607107
Pike247629
Marion244650
Lawrence242547
Winston225535
Bibb214447
Geneva199535
Marengo197829
Pickens196231
Hale175442
Barbour172336
Butler168458
Fayette167126
Cherokee160030
Henry152721
Monroe145017
Randolph138835
Washington137026
Clay126145
Crenshaw118644
Lamar117519
Cleburne117223
Macon114335
Lowndes109535
Wilcox102621
Bullock98728
Perry96919
Conecuh94220
Sumter88826
Greene75723
Coosa60515
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