Days after its publication, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury is still the talk of the Beltway. After sending a cease and desist letter to Wolff’s publisher, Macmillan, and repeatedly lashing out at Wolff on social media and at a press conference, John Sargent, Macmillan’s CEO, sent a memo to employees detailing how the publisher would not be intimidated by the President’s “unconstitutional” tactics.
In his memo, which has been obtained by Publishers Weekly, Sargent said that no court would side with the President:
Sargent cited a number of Supreme Court Cases, including the case of the Pentagon Papers, in which Justice Hugo Black declared: “Both the history and language of the First Amendment support the view that the press must be left free to publish news, whatever the source, without censorship, injunctions, or prior restraints. In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government.”
Sargent continued, writing that the First Amendment is “an underlying principle of our democracy,” and it’s pretty well established as such.
“We cannot stand silent. We will not allow any president to achieve by intimidation what our Constitution precludes him or her from achieving in court,” he added.
(Via Publishers Weekly)