Justice Department Drops Lawsuit Against Melania Trump’s Former Aide

February 9, 2021 Updated: February 11, 2021

The Department of Justice on Monday dropped a lawsuit that was filed against a former aide to ex-First Lady Melania Trump over a book.

The department voluntarily dismissed the suit against Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, it said in a brief, one-sentence filing in federal court.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a Clinton nominee, approved the request hours later.

A Department of Justice official told news outlets in a statement, “The Department evaluated the case and concluded that dismissal without prejudice was in the best interests of the United States based on the facts and the law.”

Wolkoff’s lawyer told news outlets, “We are very pleased that the Department of Justice is dismissing this lawsuit.”

The suit was filed after Wolkoff’s book, “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady,” was published. The government alleged she failed to submit a draft of her book for review prior to the book’s release.

“The United States seeks to hold Ms. Wolkoff to her contractual and fiduciary obligations and to ensure that she is not unjustly enriched by her breach of the duties she freely assumed when she served as an adviser to the first lady,” the complaint stated.

Wolkoff entered into an agreement concerning the release of information in 2017.

Wolkoff protested the suit, claiming that it was an attempt to silence her and in violation of her First Amendment rights.

Epoch Times Photo
Then-First Lady Melania Trump during an inspection of the 18.5-foot Fraser fir Christmas tree for the White House Blue Room, outside the White House in Washington on Nov. 23, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

The book is largely critical of Trump. Wolkoff also appeared on CNN shortly after its release, where she played recordings she said were of private conversations between her and the former first lady.

Trump in a statement strove to place blame on news outlets, alleging she barely knew Wolkoff.

“We all know that more often than not, information that could be helpful to children is lost in the noise made by self-serving adults. I have most recently found this to be the case as major news outlets eagerly covered salacious claims made by a former contractor who advised my office. A person who said she ‘made me’ even though she hardly knew me, and someone who clung to me after my husband won the presidency,” she said in a note.

“This is a woman who secretly recorded our phone calls, releasing portions from me that were out of context, then wrote a book of idle gossip trying to distort my character. Her ‘memoir’ included blaming me for her ailing health from an accident she had long ago, and for bad news coverage that she brought upon herself and others. Never once looking within at her own dishonest behavior and all in an attempt to be relevant. These kinds of people only care about their personal agenda—not about helping others.”

Janita Kan contributed to this report.

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