The lawsuit claims Wolkoff violated a nondisclosure agreement and calls for the book’s profits to be secured in a government trust. It also states that neither the first lady, nor her chief of staff, nor the White House council office received a draft of Wolkoff’s book and that the former adviser never sought permission to release. details of his work for the first lady.
CNN has contacted the Department of Justice and Wolkoff for comment.
Wolkoff’s book, “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady,” details the fallout from Wolkoff’s work and personal relationship with Melania Trump, including private conversations between the two.
As investigations into the inaugural activities unfolded, Wolkoff’s relationship with the first lady fell apart, driven by the amount of money Wolkoff and his events company allegedly pocketed during the planning and of the execution of the inauguration, according to CNN.
In his book, Wolkoff describes the planning for the inauguration as a botched effort, saying the new president did not understand who was behind the organization of the event.
Wolkoff also details the efforts she and, allegedly, Melania made to prevent President’s daughter Ivanka Trump from appearing in photos of the President’s swearing-in ceremony.
Wolkoff also secretly made a recording with the first lady, in which Melania Trump expresses her frustration at criticism of the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families.
The East Wing has previously claimed that Wolkoff violated the non-disclosure agreement. After the recording was released to the press, the first lady’s chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement: “Secretly registering the first lady and willfully breaking an NDA to publish a dirty book is an attempt clear of relevance. ”
This isn’t the first time the Justice Department has prosecuted former Trump staff for publishing books about their time working in the White House.
The department has taken legal action to prevent the publication of John Bolton’s book, “The Room Where It Happened,” about his time as the White House’s national security adviser under President Trump.
In 2016, Melania Trump sued the Daily Mail for making false statements about her work as a professional model. In April 2017, the publisher apologized to Trump and agreed to pay $ 2.9 million in damages as part of a settlement.
CNN’s Kate Bennett, Katelyn Polantz and Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.