As more information from Omarosa Manigault Newman’s White House memoir Unhinged continues to hound the Trump Administration, publisher Simon & Schuster said it has no intention of backing off selling the hot-button book that it released this week.
“Despite various legal claims and threats made by representatives of the Trump campaign, Gallery Books and Simon & Schuster are proceeding as planned with publication of Unhinged by Omarosa Manigault Newman, confident that we are acting well within our rights and responsibilities as a publisher,” the publisher told Deadline today.
The response from CBS Corp-owned Simon & Schuster was accompanied by a letter from lawyer Elizabeth McNamara at Davis Wright Tremaine, acting as counsel for the publisher. It hit back at an effort earlier in the week by Trump’s personal attorney Charles Harder to halt further sales of the book, which hit shelves Tuesday.
In his letter to the publisher Tuesday, ex-Hulk Hogan attorney Harder accused Omarosa and the publisher of “tortoious interference” with the non-disclosure agreement that the former Apprentice contestant signed during her White House tenure that was terminated in December.
Simon & Schuster’s McNamara disagreed with that sentiment on constitutional and censorship levels.
“Private contracts like the NDA may not be used to censor former or current government officials from speaking about non-classified information learned during the course of their public employment,” McNamara wrote Wednesday (read the full letter here). “Nor could the NDA support censorship of a publisher, like S&S, that legitimately reports on information that is plainly newsworthy and highly relevant to matters of public concern.
“The government has no legitimate interest in censoring such materials, and no court would support the presidential campaign of a sitting U.S. President in silencing a former government official like Ms. Manigault-Newman or her publisher,” the letter continues. “To do so would be a perversion of contract law, a prior restraint, and a plain violation of the First Amendment.”
As the lawyers send letters back and forth, this sideshow is eclipsed by the real circus of Trump and Omarosa fighting publicly on social media and the morning shows — which really seems like a trainwreck of a reality show that you can’t stop watching.