Trump Files Lawsuit Against Bob Woodward

( On Monday, former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against Bob Woodward, accusing the journalist and his publisher of releasing tape recordings of interviews he conducted with him without getting his consent first.

Through the lawsuit, Trump is asking for $49 million in damages that would come from both Woodward and the publisher of his book, Simon & Schuster Inc. The interviews that were released were recorded in both 2019 and 2020.

In the suit, lawyers for the former president wrote:

“This case centers on Mr. Woodward’s systematic usurpation, manipulation and exploitation of audio of President Trump.”

Woodward has published multiple books about Trump’s time in the White House and his administration, including both “Peril” and “Rage.” Woodward is a long-time reporter and editor for The Washington Post who was part of the team that uncovered the Watergate scandal in the 1970s.

During the process of writing his books, Woodward tape recorded Trump for multiple interviews. Last month, he released the recordings of 20 of those interviews he conducted with the former president.

“Rage” hit the shelves of bookstores in September of 2020. Then, he released what are called “The Trump Tapes,” which is an audiobook that contains eight hours of the raw interviews Woodward conducted with Trump, along with commentary from Woodward interspersed throughout.

The book was first available for purchase in late October of last year, and includes the 20 interviews Woodward and Trump held together between 2016 and 2020.

In his lawsuit, which was filed in Florida, Trump said he never gave Woodward the permission necessary to release the audio from those interviews. As the lawsuit says:

“President Trump told Woodward numerous times that the interviews were to be used by Woodwared – and Woodward only – for the sole purpose of accurately quoting President Trump for the ‘written word,’ i.e., ‘Rage,’ and not for any other purpose, including providing, marketing or selling the interviews to the public, press or the media, in any way, shape or form.”

The lawsuit further says the interviews were “protected material, subject to various limitations on use and distribution.”

Trump is known for filing many lawsuits against people and companies he believes have done him wrong. Recently, though, he and his legal team were levied a $1 million fine as part of sanctions for a lawsuit that a judge determined was frivolous.

That suit was against Hillary Clinton and many others, and alleged they conspired against Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

In making his decision to levy the sanctions, U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks, from the Southern District of Florida, wrote the former president demonstrated a “pattern of misusing the courts to serve political purposes.”

As the judge wrote in his decision:

“Frivolous lawsuits should not be used as a vehicle for fundraising or fodder for rallies or social media. Mr. Trump is using the courts as a stage set for political theater and grievance. This behavior interferes with the ability of the judiciary to perform its constitutional duty.”