Ex-Trump White House chief Meadows sued by publisher over bogus election claims

Ex-Trump White House chief Meadows sued by publisher over bogus election claims

The publisher of a book written by Mark Meadows has sued the former Trump White House chief of staff, claiming that he violated the terms of an agreement when he included false statements about former President Donald Trump’s lies that the 2020 election was stolen.

All Seasons Press filed the lawsuit in Sarasota County in Florida on Friday, arguing that Mr Meadows “promised and represented that ‘all statements contained in the Work are true and based on reasonable research for accuracy’ and that he ‘has not made any misrepresentations to the Publisher about the Work’”.

The publisher added that Mr Meadows, a former Tea Party and North Carolina congressman, caused All Seasons Press “to suffer significant monetary and reputational damage when the media widely reported … that he warned President Trump against claiming that election fraud corrupted the electoral votes cast in the 2020 Presidential Election and that neither he nor former President Trump actually believed such claims”.

The lawsuit follows reporting by ABC News that Mr Meadows received immunity to testify before a grand jury in the investigation headed by Special Counsel Jack Smith, during which the ex-chief is reported to have gone against the version of events in his own book.

The book – The Chief’s Chief – was published in 2021. The Independent has reached out to Mr Meadows’s attorney, George Terwilliger, for comment.

All Seasons Press went on to state in the legal filing that the reported statements by Mr Meadows to the special prosecutor and his office as well as the reports about his testimony before the grand jury “squarely contradict the statements in his Book, one central theme of which is that President Trump was the true winner of the 2020 Presidential Election and that election was ‘stolen’ and ‘rigged’ with the help from ‘allies in the liberal media,’ who ignored ‘actual evidence of fraud’”.

Mr Meadows said in his testimony that Mr Trump had been “dishonest” when he claimed victory on election night 2020, long before all votes had been counted and the final result was days away from being finalised.

When asked by prosecutors, Mr Meadows is reported to have admitted that Mr Trump lost the 2020 election, saying that he hasn’t seen any fraud that would change the result.

The lawsuit by All Seasons Press argues that “One of the Book’s primary theses is that President Trump was the true winner of the 2020 Presidential Election and that the election was stolen by President Biden through widespread election fraud.

“Chapter Fifteen of the Book entitled ‘The Long Con’ begins with this sentence: ‘I KNEW HE DIDN’T LOSE’ … and chronicles how the [2020] Presidential Election was ‘stolen’ from former President Trump and ‘rigged’ with the help from ‘allies in the liberal media,’ who ignored ‘actual evidence of fraud, right there in plain sight for anyone to access and analyze’.

“Meadows concludes: ‘In time, it became clear that the media’s plan ‘the long con’ had worked.”

The publisher also notes that Mr Meadows blames the media for Mr Trump’s loss.

“It was one thing for them to rig the election and get away with it, but even for them, bragging about the theft would be a bridge too far,” he wrote.

Mr Meadows also quoted Mr Trump in the book.

“Look, if I lost, I would have no problem admitting it. I would sit back and retire and probably have a much easier life. But I didn’t lose. People need me to get back to work. We’re not done yet,” he quotes the then-president as saying.

The publisher is asking for its $350,000 advance payment back in addition to $600,000 in out-of-pocket damages, and at least $1m for the damage done to their reputation and the loss of the expected profits from the book. All Seasons Press argued that the profits for the book took a nosedive following Mr Meadows’s role in the January 6, 2021 insurrection and the subsequent investigations into the Capitol riot.

In December of that year, All Seasons Press told Mr Meadows in a letter that it would not pay out the final advance payment of $116,666 after the revelation that his book may hold false claims.

The lawsuit states that the publisher planned to release the book “pending an investigation”.

The publisher then received a letter from Mr Meadows’s son, Blake Meadows, demanding that the final payment be issued.

“Mr. Meadows is aware of the specious allegations that were published regarding a portion of the book which was taken out of context, and which have already been addressed by both Mr. Meadows and former President Trump in multiple press releases,” the younger Mr Meadows wrote, according to the legal filing.

The publisher said it moved to publish the book “after conducting the appropriate due diligence and based upon repeated assurances from Meadows that facts in the Book were true”.

But the publisher goes on to claim that profits took a dip as reports began to be published alleging that Mr Meadows could be collaborating with prosecutors.

“As a result, public interest in the Book, the truth of which was increasingly in doubt, precipitously declined, and ASP sold only approximately 60,000 of the 200,000 first printing of the Book,” All Seasons Press writes.