Embattled former president Donald Trump is threatening to sue publisher Simon & Schuster and author and former New York criminal prosecutor Mark Pomerantz over the forthcoming publication of People vs. Donald Trump: An Inside Account.
According to S&S press materials, Pomerantz, who investigated Donald Trump and the Trump Organization, purports to explain in his book why Trump should be prosecuted for financial crimes—and why he believes that prosecution hasn’t yet happened. Pomerantz resigned last February, reportedly after Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg was said to have put the brakes on an imminent criminal prosecution of the former president.
But in a letter this week, shared with PW, Trump attorney Joe Tacopina warns Pomerantz and S&S officials against publishing a book that repeats allegedly “false” and “defamatory” statements.
“I strongly admonish you to take these next words seriously: If you publish such a book and continue making defamatory statements against my client, my office will aggressively pursue all legal remedies against you and your book publisher, Simon & Schuster,” Tacopina writes. “Trust me, I will zealously use every possible legal resource to punish you and your publisher for the incredible financial harm that you have caused my clients to suffer.”
In a statement issued late Monday evening, Pomerantz dismissed Trump’s threat to sue.
“If the former president should sue me, I will defend that litigation,” Pomerantz said, in a statement issued through S&S. “I stand by the statements I have made previously, and those contained in my forthcoming book.”
The threat marks the latest attempt by Trump to stop publication of a book that criticizes him—which so far have only served to sell books. In 2018, while president, Trump attorneys sent a cease-and-desist letter to publisher Henry Holt and author Michael Wolff over his book of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. The media attention propelled the book to the top of the bestseller list.
More recently, Trump unsuccessfully sued Simon & Schuster and his niece, author Mary Trump, in New York state court seeking to block publication of her memoir Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man. The book would go on to sell more than a million copies.
And in a more chilling attempt, the Department of Justice actually did Trump’s bidding by seeking to block former national security adviser John Bolton’s memoir, The Room Where It Happened, (also published by S&S) just days ahead of the book's publication date. The book would go on to become a bestseller, and after a year of litigation the DOJ eventually dropped subsequent criminal and civil lawsuits against Bolton.
Manhattan DA Bragg has also expressed concern about the forthcoming book, noting that it could hamper an ongoing investigation into Trump's activities. "Based on the pre-publication descriptions of his book and the benefit of current knowledge of the matter, but without access to the manuscript, this Office believes there is a meaningful risk that the publication will materially prejudice ongoing criminal investigations and related adjudicative proceedings," reads a letter, from the DA's office. The letter asked to review the manuscript.
Meanwhile, the Manhattan DA's investigation into Trump's business has proven successful so far. Earlier this month, the Trump Organization was ordered to pay a $1.6 million criminal penalty, the maximum allowed, after being found guilty of tax fraud, and Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg was sentenced to five months in jail .