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case dismissed

Justice Department drops lawsuit against former friend of Melania Trump

The Justice Department on Monday dropped an unprecedented civil lawsuit filed in October against Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, an ex-friend and aide to former first lady Melania Trump.

Wolkoff's book, Melania and Me, was published in September. The tell-all includes details on Trump's relationship with her stepdaughter Ivanka Trump, her complaints about decorating the White House for Christmas, and her thoughts on migrant children being separated from their parents as part of the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy. The Justice Department claimed that Wolkoff's book violated a non-disclosure agreement she signed, and asked for all of Melania and Me's profits to go into a government trust.

In a Monday court filing, the Justice Department did not explain why it was dropping the case, and an official would only tell Politico that the department "evaluated the case and concluded that dismissal without prejudice was in the best interests of the United States based on the facts and the law."

The lawsuit was filed during the tenure of former Attorney General William Barr, and critics said he appeared to be taking on the role of Melania Trump's personal lawyer and fixer. "This is a complete abuse of the Justice Department to pursue this case for personal reasons," attorney Mark Zaid tweeted at the time. "And it's legally unenforceable."