According to CNN Money, President Trump’s personal lawyer, Charles Harder, has written to author Michael Wolff and Henry Holt Publishers, demanding Wolff’s book not be published.
Mr. Trump hereby demands that you immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the Book, the Article, or any excerpts or summaries of either of them, to any person or entity, and that you issue a full and complete retraction and apology to my client as to all statements made about him in the Book and Article that lack competent evidentiary support.
Donald Trump as a private citizen has a long history of making demands and threats of this kind; also, of failing to act on them. President Trump, the incredibly thin-skinned man-child in the White House, has exactly no legal chance of making the threat stick. Even assuming that Harder’s claims were true, prior restraints on free speech, outside of a very few narrow exceptions – national security, for example – are not allowed under the First Amendment. We don’t tolerate censorship in America, especially of political speech. See Near v. Minnesota. Charles Harder, the President’s attorney, is displaying the same kind of ignorance as his client in even writing a letter. Or enabling. Or both.
If WC were counsel for publisher Henry Holt and author Michael Wolff, he’d write a nice thank you note to Charles Harder and Donald Trump, thanking them for the priceless free publicity.1 Because that’s all Harder’s letter has accomplished or will accomplish.
The thing about Trump’s reaction to Wulff’s book is that it further proves Wolff’s thesis: Donald Trump is simply unfit to serve as president of the United States. Oh, and also makes a lot of us want to buy the book.