Lawyers representing the firm that published Fire And Fury: Inside The Trump White House strongly pushed back against President Donald Trump‘s legal team, which demanded the publisher halt publication of the book.
In response to a cease-and-desist letter sent to Henry Holt and Company Inc. and the author Michael Wolff, the publisher’s lawyers said there is “no reason to doubt” that the book is an “accurate report on events of vital public importance,” and they would not issue an apology or retraction as requested by Trump’s lawyers.
“My clients do not intend to cease publication, no such retraction will occur, and no apology is warranted,” the letter, written by Elizabeth McNamara, reads.
The letter says Trump’s lawyers provided a “basic summary” of New York libel law, but did not identify any particular statements it believed were false or defamatory.
Instead, McNamara’s letter reads, the letter from Trump’s legal team “appears to be designed to silence legitimate criticism” and was “the antithesis of an actionable libel claim.”
NEW: Counsel to "Fire and Fury" author and publisher responds to Pres. Trump's legal counsel: "My clients do not intend to cease publication, no such retraction will occur, and no apology is warranted." https://t.co/9scdVvbpwq pic.twitter.com/F2AXeeex5m
— ABC News (@ABC) January 8, 2018
In response to an invasion of privacy claim, McNamara wrote “Not only is this claim meritless; it is non-existent. In any event, it is patently ridiculous to claim the privacy of the President of the United States has been violated by a book reporting on his campaign and his actions in office.”
Fire and Fury has been at the center of numerous news reports over the past week and has drawn the ire of Trump—who called the book “fiction.” After Henry Holt and Company moved up the book’s publication date, it quickly became a best-seller and currently sits atop Amazon’s top book sales list.
The publishers’ response letter concludes by saying they will comply with laws requiring them to preserve documents related to the book that involve “President Trump, his family members, their business, and his presidential campaign” but reminded the president’s lawyers they had to do the same.
“This would include any and all documents pertaining to any of the matters about which the book reports,” McNamara wrote. “Should you pursue litigation against Henry Holt or Mr. Wolff, we are quite confident that documents related to the contents of the book in the possession of President Trump, his family members, his businesses, his campaign, and his administration will prove particularly relevant to our defense.”