Justice Department sues Stephanie Winston Wolkoff over Melania Trump tell-all book
The federal government is coming for first lady Melania Trump’s ex-BFF and the profits from her tell-all book, "Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady.”
联邦政府正在追查第一夫人梅拉尼娅·特朗普的前闺蜜，以及她的书“梅拉尼娅和我：我与第一夫人友谊的兴衰”(Melania and Me：The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the第一夫人)的利润。
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff is being sued by the U.S. Department of Justicefor allegedly breaking a nondisclosure agreement inpublishing the book, which hit shelves in early September. The White House tell-all recounts Wolkoff’s nearly two-decade friendship with Trump and its bitter dissolution.
斯蒂芬妮·温斯顿·沃尔科夫(Stephanie Winston Wolkoff)正被美国司法部起诉，原因是她涉嫌在出版这本书时违反了保密协议。这本书于9月初上架。白宫全面讲述了沃尔科夫与特朗普近20年的友谊，以及这种友谊的痛苦解体。
Wolkoff worked as an unpaid advisor to Melania Trump from early 2017 to February 2018, and before that helped organize the presidential inauguration. Wolkoff resigned following unfavorable public disclosures over the inauguration's finances.
In a complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, Justice Department lawyers accuse Wolkoff of breach of contract, stating that “Ms. Wolkoff promised to maintain strict confidentiality over ‘nonpublic, privileged and/or confidential information’ that she might obtain during her service.” The complaint continues that Wolkoff was “specifically prohibited from publishing, reproducing or otherwise divulging any such information to any unauthorized person or entity in whole or in part,” and further alleges that Wolkoff had “indirect access to deliberative information, to which the First Lady was privy, related to the President’s official duties on behalf of the country.”
The Justice Department is asking the court to set aside the book’s profits in a government trust.
“This was a contract with the United States and therefore enforceable by the United States,” Justice spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said. She declined to comment on “deliberative conversations” that preceded the Justice action. The suit alleges that Wolkoff never submitted a draft of her book to the first lady or White House counsel for review despite the inclusion of personnel decisions and discussion of the first lady's "Be Best" initiative, which it says was expressly prohibited by the nondisclosure agreement.
The department is also pursuing a criminal investigation intowhether former national security adviser John Bolton unlawfully disclosed classified information in his book, "The Room Where It Happened," published in June, also by Simon & Schuster.
美国国务院还在对前国家安全顾问约翰·博尔顿(John Bolton)是否在他6月份出版的同样由西蒙与舒斯特(Simon&Schuster)出版的书“发生过的房间”(The Room Where It Here)中非法披露机密信息展开刑事调查。
Legal analysts said the Justice Department's action, and its history of intervention in other cases on the side of Trump allies, smacked of retaliation.
"So now Bill Barr is not just DONALD Trump’s lawyer/fixer-but he is also MELANIA Trump’s lawyer?" tweeted legal analystGlenn Kirschner."And Barr has deployed the DOJ against Stephanie Wolkoff, Melania’s former friend who wrote a tell-all book? Barr continues to soil the DOJ in horrific ways."
“所以现在比尔·巴尔不仅是唐纳德·特朗普的律师/中间人--他也是梅拉尼娅·特朗普的律师？”法律分析师格伦·基什纳(Glenn Kirschner)在推特上写道。“巴尔已经部署司法部对付梅拉尼娅的前朋友斯蒂芬妮·沃尔科夫(Stephanie Wolkoff)，她写了一本揭发一切的书？巴尔继续以可怕的方式玷污司法部。”
USA TODAY has reached out to publisher Simon & Schuster, for comment.
Wolkoff writes that she believes she was set up by her enemies (read: Ivanka Trump) in the West Wing to be the focus of public outrage when the Presidential Inaugural Committee revealed its numbers in February 2018: $107 million raised, with $26 million to Wolkoff's company partnership. It looked as if Wolkoff had walked away with a huge chunk of change. But in fact, she says in her book, the money went to vendors contracted by her company, who were unmentioned in the White House statement.
Wolkoff feels her reputation and integrity were permanently damaged by the Trump White House, aided by "inaccurate" reporting by the media and by Melania Trump's failure to defend her.
The book also claims that Melania Trump and Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka share an especially strained relationship, and that Ivanka Trump has worked to undermine and constrain Melania Trump in her role as first lady. Wolkoff writes that during the inauguration, she and Melania Trump executed “Operation Block Princess,” a plot to keep Ivanka Trump’s face from being too close to her father during the swearing-in ceremony. It was "petty," Wolkoff admits, but they believed Ivanka Trump should not be the center of attention in her father's inauguration.
At the time of the book’s publication, USA TODAYreached out to Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's chief of staff and spokesperson, for a response.“This book is not only wildly self-aggrandizing, it’s just not truthful,” Grisham told USA TODAY in an email. “It is an exercise in bizarre twisting of the truth and misguided blame for the sake of self-pity. It’s unfortunate and concerning that she’s overstated their friendship and her very brief role in the White House to this degree.”