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First lady Melania Trump. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Tuesday sued a former aide to first lady Melania Trump, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, saying she violated a nondisclosure agreement when she published her tell-all book "Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady," Politico reports.

The big picture: This is not the first time the DOJ has sued in response to a revealing book about the Trump administration. The department filed suit against former national security adviser John Bolton in June to prevent the release of his memoir "The Room Where it Happened."

  • The latest lawsuit "reignited fears among some outside legal experts that the Justice Department was training its resources at the White House's perceived enemies," Politico writes.

The DOJ alleges Wolkoff, who served as senior adviser to the first lady from January 2017 to August 2017, signed an agreement that "included no termination date."

  • Lawyers for the former aide told The Daily Beast in September that she has not been bound to the agreement for more than two years. They called the DOJ's allegations "unfounded and meritless."

What they're saying: The book discusses "personnel decisions in the Office of the First Lady, work on the First Lady’s 'Be Best' initiative, and engagement in conversations with the President of the United States," DOJ lawyers say.

  • "These topics fall squarely within the category of materials that, under the terms of the Agreement, Ms. Wolkoff expressly agreed not to divulge without obtaining written authorization."
  • "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 advisor to the First Lady."
  • The DOJ asked the court to redirect any profits from the book to the federal government.

Go deeper

Dec 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bolton lauds Barr for standing up to Trump

John Bolton. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

John Bolton says Attorney General Bill Barr has done more to undercut President Trump's baseless assertions about Democrats stealing the election than most Senate Republicans by saying publicly that the Justice Department has yet to see widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

What he's saying: “He stood up and did the right thing," Bolton said in a Wednesday phone interview.

Updated 17 mins ago - World

Death toll mounts as fighting between Israel and Hamas intensifies

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 109 Palestinians and seven people in Israel have been killed since recent fighting between Israel's military and Hamas began Monday.

The big picture: Israel began massing troops on its border with Gaza on Thursday, launching attacks from the air and ground as Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel.

By the numbers: Where the earmarks are wanted

Expand chart
Data: House Committee on Appropriations; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is being targeted for the largest collective earmark request in the country, according to a detailed breakdown of overall requests released by the House Appropriations Committee.

Why it matters: House appropriators are trying to balance bipartisan momentum for infrastructure investment with "pork-barrel" spending's checkered political history. The data dump is an effort to provide transparency for what are now termed "community project funding" requests.