Bob Woodward Responds to Trump Lawsuit over Interview Tapes

May 22, 2023

Journalist Bob Woodward has testified in a lawsuit brought by former President Trump filed in federal court in Florida over publication of his audiobook, “The Trump Tapes: The Historical Record.”

In the $50 million suit, Trump claims that the veteran Washington Post reporter promised to only use 19 out of 20 recorded interviews conducted with the then-President for his 2020 exposé on Trump entitled, “Rage.” 

The suit, filed in January against Woodward as well as publishers Simon & Schuster and Paramount Global, further contends that Woodward promised to only use those tapes for the printed book. The complaint goes on to allege that Woodward’s companion 2022 audiobook, which includes all 20 recordings of Woodward’s interviews, “systematically, blatantly, and unlawfully usurped” Trump’s “copyright interests, his contractual rights, and the rights he holds as an interviewee.”

In testimony filed on Friday, Woodward denies having agreed to any of the conditions Trump claims he did. 

“Before beginning the interviews, I explained to President Trump that the Interviews would be used in my next book, which would come out in the Fall of 2020,” Woodward said. “I made no other promises about the book or Interviews, and he made no requests beyond clarifications that the Interviews would not be used in contemporaneous reporting in The Washington Post.”

In a memorandum supporting a motion to dismiss, Woodward attorney Elizabeth A. McNamara calls Trump’s intellectual property lawsuit an “unprecedented effort to extract private benefit from his public duties” that has never before occurred in the history of the Oval Office. 

The memo goes on to state, “As if on a mission to prove this ‘everything is mine’ thesis, Donald Trump, ‘in his individual capacity,’ asserts that he owns Woodward’s entire Work because it includes words spoken by ‘President Trump, 45th President of the United States of America,'” adding that Trump “seeks to profit from his public service by demanding Defendants pay him nearly $50 million.”

Trump attorney Robert David Garson did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the blog “Law & Crime.” 

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