The Columbus Dispatch
Former Pentagon chief sues to publish material in memoir
WASHINGTON – Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper claims in a lawsuit against the Defense Department that material is being improperly withheld from his use as he seeks to publish an “unvarnished and candid memoir” of his time in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet.
The lawsuit, which was filed Sunday in U.S. District Court in Washington, describes the memoir, “A Sacred Oath,” as an account of Esper’s tenure as Army secretary from 2017 to 2019 and his 18 months as defense secretary, which ended when Trump fired him in a tweet just days after the president lost his reelection bid.
Esper and Trump were sharply divided over the use of the military during civil unrest in June 2020 following the killing of George Floyd. Other issues led the president to believe Esper was not sufficiently loyal while Esper believed he was trying to keep the department apolitical.