In response to the news that President Trump’s campaign has made legal threats against Simon & Schuster, the publisher of Omarosa Manigault Newman’s book on her time in the Trump Administration, Unhinged, PEN America issued the following statement:

“Yet again the Trump Administration is attempting to intimidate a publishing house by threatening legal retaliation in an attempt to keep a book off the shelves and out the hands of Americans who wish to read it. That the letter is signed by a private attorney rather than a government official doesn’t change the fact that the president of the United States is behind an effort to bully a book publisher, browbeat an author, and silence speech. Prior restraint—government censorship of expression before it is published—is among the most draconian forms of repression of speech, used by the world’s most authoritarian governments. The last time the White House tried this underhanded ploy, the controversy only fueled sales and conversation about the book as the White House’s legal grounds for challenging it were exposed as baseless. It is deeply regrettable that the White House did not learn its lesson and persists with tactics that are both unlawful and unbecoming of the presidency.”


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

CONTACT: Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager: [email protected]