The complaint alleges that Wolkoff breached a nondisclosure agreement and requested that the profits from the book be secured in a state trust. It is also said that neither the first lady, her chief of staff, nor the White House law firm received a draft of the book from Wolkoff and that the former adviser never asked permission to disclose details of her work for the first lady.
CNN has approached the Justice Department and Wolkoff for comment.
Wolkoff’s book “Melania and I: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady” describes the consequences of Wolkoff’s professional and personal relationship with Melania Trump, including private conversations between the two.
Wolkoff, a former Vogue magazine executive responsible for high-dollar events, had known Melania Trump for more than a decade when she was hired to organize the planning of the inauguration of President Donald Trump. She was also Trump̵
7;s first East Wing job, serving as senior advisor to the First Lady, writing speeches and helping design the “Be Best” platform. During her time in the east wing, Wolkoff was a special government employee, which meant she was not paid for her services.
As the investigation into the opening activities unfolded, Wolkoff’s relationship with the first lady fell apart, according to CNN, due to the amount of money Wolkoff and her events company allegedly put in their pockets while planning and executing the inauguration.
In her book, Wolkoff describes the inauguration planning as a slapdash effort and claims that the incoming president did not understand who was behind the organization of the event.
Wolkoff also describes the efforts she and allegedly Melania made to prevent President Ivanka Trump’s daughter 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 his frustration over criticism of the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families.
The east wing has previously alleged that Wolkoff breached the nondisclosure agreement. After the recording was publicized in the press, first lady chief of staff Stephanie Grisham said in a statement, “Secretly recording the first lady and intentionally breaking an NDA to publish a great book is a clear attempt at relevance.”
This isn’t the first time the Justice Department has been tracking down former Trump employees who publish books about their time at the White House.
The department sued to prevent the publication of John Bolton’s book, The Room Where It Happened, about his work as National Security Advisor to the White House under President Trump.
In 2016, Melania Trump sued The Daily Mail for making false claims about her work as a professional model. In April 2017, the publisher apologized to Trump and agreed to pay damages of USD 2.9 million in a settlement.
CNN’s Kate Bennett, Katelyn Polantz and Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.