Attorneys for Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster quickly filed an appeal Tuesday afternoon. Lawyer Ted Boutrous called the judge’s order “a prior restraint on core political speech that flatly violates the First Amendment.”
“This book, which addresses matters of great public concern and importance about a sitting president in an election year, should not be suppressed even for one day,” Boutrous added.
Robert Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, blasted the planned book as “truly reprehensible.” Harder said his client plans to seek “enormous damages” against Mary Trump and the publishing house unless plans for the book are abandoned.
Harder said in court filings that in the estate settlement reached in 2001, Mary Trump “agreed to not ‘directly or indirectly publish or cause to be published any diary, memoir, letter, story, photograph, interview, article, essay, account, or description or depiction of any kind whatsoever, whether fictionalized or not, concerning their litigation or relationship with the [Proponents]… or assist or provide information to others in connection therewith.”
Harder said his client doesn’t know precisely what’s in the book, but believes that promise is likely to be violated because Simon & Schuster has indicated in promotional materials that the book will contain “an ‘insider’s perspective’ of ‘countless holiday meals,’ ‘family interactions,’ and ‘family events.'”
In a letter to the court last Friday, Harder urged Greenwald to avoid a repeat of the recent situation involving former national security adviser John Bolton’s insider account of his dealings with President Trump. The Justice Department sought a restraining order against the book — titled, “The Room Where It Happened” —but a judge ruled that issuing one would be futile because advance copies had already been distributed to the media and circulated widely.
“We are concerned that Simon & Schuster (which also published the Bolton book) will take steps to make it impossible to implement a preliminary injunction if one is granted, thereby vitiating Plaintiff’s right to injunctive relief,” Harder wrote.
Lawyers for Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster argued that it would be improper for the court to impose a prior restraint without allowing legal briefing from the author and publisher, but Greenwald decided to put a hold on publication-related moves while the legal briefing goes forward.
Last week, Harder asked another New York state court judge to block the book, but that Queens-based judge turned down the request, saying the issue was not a proper one to raise in his probate court, especially given that the litigation over the will has been dormant for years.