Publisher to POTUS: No We Won’t ‘Cease and Desist’

The Story:

President Donald Trump recently had his personal attorney, Charles J. Harder, send a “cease and desist” letter to book publisher Henry Holt & Co., demanding that it refrain from releasing or disseminating the book FIRE AND FURY, by Michael Wolff. Holt has ignored the letter and published the book.

The Interviewee:

Much of the controversial material in the book consists of direct quotes from Steve Bannon, who was for a time Trump’s “Chief Strategist.” Bannon has not denied the accuracy of these quotes. Along with the publisher, Bannon and Wolff also each received Harder’s letter.

The Thing to Know: 

If the President did have authority to order that a publisher cease and desist, it would be an example of what lawyers call a “prior restraint” on publication. Many scholars think that prior restraints — as distinct for example from post-publication civil liabilities — are at the core of what the first amendment was designed to prohibit.

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