Justice Department Drops Case Against Former Aide to Melania Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump listen to the national anthem at a College Football Playoff National Championship game between LSU and Clemson at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S. January 13, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The Justice Department has dropped its lawsuit against a former senior aide to then-First Lady Melania Trump over her tell-all memoir “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady.” 

Filed in October 2020, the lawsuit alleged that Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a longtime friend of Melania’s, failed to obtain written permission before publishing details about her work as a volunteer advisor to the First Lady.

See previous story: Justice Department Sues Author of “Melania and Me” for Violating Non-Disclosure Agreement

In addition to a declaration that Wolkoff breached her contractual obligations, government attorneys asked the United States District Court of the District of Columbia to order Wolkoff and her publisher, Simon & Schuster, to surrender all profits from her book and place them in a government trust. 

The Justice Department abandoned the case on February 8th. According to The Washington Post, the agency did not go into detail as to how it came to the decision other than that it was “in the best interests of the United States based on the facts and the law.” 

Multiple authors were targeted during the Trump administration for publishing books about the president and his family. In June 2020, the Justice Department attempted to halt the publication of John R. Bolton’s memoir.  And in July 2020, the President’s late brother, Robert Trump, asked a court to issue a gag order to prevent the release of Mary Trump’s memoir about their family. Both attempts failed. 

The Washington Post