Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Trump's Cease and Desist Letter Burned by Lawyers With 'Fire and Fury'

A recently published book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, received the attention of the president before it even hit the shelves. In response to a sneak peak published by New York Magazine, the book's publisher received a cease and desist letter from Trump's lawyers demanding the book not be released.

However, the cease and desist letter, as pointed out in the response letter (which is making the rounds on the internet), was wholly without merit. The response specifically points to several deficiencies in Trump's lawyer's letter, including the fact that it relies on New York law, yet threatens a cause of action that simply does not exist in New York, and additionally the C and D fails to identify a single false, defamatory, or libelous statement contained within the book or preview.

How a Bully Can Help Business

Interestingly, Trump's lawyer's letter had a Streisand effect for the book. That's where the attempt to stop something from getting attention results in that very thing getting attention, which famously happened to Barbara Streisand when she sued a photographer that took an aerial photograph of her mansion to document erosion on the California coast. The picture went from being viewed 4 times to 400,000 when legal action was taken.

Similarly, after news of Trump's cease and desist to Wolff and publisher broke, the publisher moved up the publication date, and the book immediately jumped to the top of the bestseller list. It's a wonder whether President Trump is aware of the fact that people are always going to want to read what a president doesn't want them to read, especially if it's about them, and the president has taken action to try to stop it from getting out there.

The response letter goes to great lengths to ensure that the facts surrounding how the author, Michael Wolff, secured the information for the book: he was right there on the campaign trail and in the White House. It goes on to explain that everything in the book can be supported by Wolff's notes and his own experience. It closes by basically daring the Trump administration to file a lawsuit, since doing so would doubtlessly require extensive discovery as to each and every statement they claim to be false.

Related Resources: