Trump defense chief Esper sues Pentagon for redacting parts of memoir

Esper served as Trump's defense secretary from June 2019 to November 2020, when he was fired over a range of differences on policy issues.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper holds his first news conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., August 28, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS)
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper holds his first news conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., August 28, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Former US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday filed a lawsuit against the Department of Defense for withholding parts of a memoir about the time he spent in the administration of Donald Trump.

The book, "A Sacred Oath," sheds light on events that occurred during the second half of Trump's presidency, Esper said.

The Department "arbitrarily" redacted the manuscript after he submitted it to DoD officials for review, he said in a statement.

"Significant text is being improperly withheld from the publication ...under the guise of classification. The withheld text is crucial to telling important stories discussed in the manuscript," Esper's lawsuit, filed in a federal court, said.

Esper served as Trump's defense secretary from June 2019 to November 2020, when he was fired over a range of differences on policy issues.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz meets with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the Pentagon on October, 22, 2020. (credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)Defense Minister Benny Gantz meets with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the Pentagon on October, 22, 2020. (credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)

They included Esper's public opposition to Trump's threats to use active-duty military forces to suppress street protests over racial injustice after police killed George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The DoD did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment sent during overnight hours.