Biden’s Justice Department drops case against author of tell-all Melania Trump book

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff calls dismissal of case 'vindication against forces of former president'

Mayank Aggarwal@journomayank
Tuesday 09 February 2021 14:31
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<p>File image: Stephanie Winston Wolkoff worked for more than a year with Melania Trump in the White House</p>

File image: Stephanie Winston Wolkoff worked for more than a year with Melania Trump in the White House

The Justice Department of the new Biden administration has dropped a lawsuit against Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former adviser to Melania Trump who was accused of breaking a non-disclosure agreement with her tell-all book about the first lady.

Wolkoff, the author of Melania and Me, worked as an unpaid adviser to Ms Trump from January 2017 to February 2018, and was accused of violating an agreement that she signed in 2017. She had left the job after the New York Times reported that a firm founded by Wolkoff received $26m (£18.8m) to help organise a Trump inauguration event.

The case against Wolkoff was dropped on Monday after the Justice Department, as plaintiff, filed a single-line document notifying a federal judge in Washington that it "voluntarily dismisses this action". The department has provided no further explanation for abandoning the case.

Wolkoff's book claims to recall disagreements that the former first lady had with her husband Donald Trump, as well as an apparently tense rivalry with Mr Trump's daughter Ivanka.

While the author has said that the terms of her non-disclosure agreement were fulfilled and that confidentiality clauses expired once her contract for working with the Trumps was terminated, the Justice Department argued in the initial suit that she breached its terms by failing to share a draft of her book with the government prior to publication.

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Following the dismissal of the lawsuit, Wolkoff posted a series of triumphant tweets, saying: “The Trumps gagged me and tried to silence me and the truth. Justice prevailed! The Trumps used the DOJ as their personal lawyers. Justice is being restored in our great nation to serve the people and not the interests of those in power.”

She held that the dismissal of the department's case against her was “vindication against forces from the former President, and Melania on down, who attempted to wield their power to silence me by intimidating me from speaking the truth".

“This lawsuit was a meritless attempt by Donald and Melania to use the Justice Department to pursue their personal interests, silencing and intimidating me over speech protected by the First Amendment,” she said.

The case against Wolkoff was seen as unusual because it used a legal route ordinarily reserved by the US government for former security services officials and whistleblowers. A litany of former Trump staffers have published memoirs, including those who left the White House on bad terms with the former president, without facing legal action.

Wolkoff also suggested in her tweets that Ms Trump “opened Pandora's box involving the DOJ” in her case.

“The enormous trove of communications and documentations I possess and shared tell the true story about 'why' and 'how' the contracts were 'created' and 'terminated' and who was involved. TRUTH PREVAILS,” she tweeted.

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