A shocking account of the Trump presidency and an unprecedented behind-the-scenes portrait of the American president by an anonymous senior official of his administration will be published later this month despite a warning by the US Department of Justice to the publisher.
The Department of Justice had warned Hachette Book Group (HBG) that its planned publication of "A Warning" by the anonymous Trump administration official may violate a non-disclosure agreement but the publishing house has said it is going ahead with its plan. The book will be published in the UK and the US on November 19 and in India by the end of this month.
In a letter to HBG general counsel Carol Ross and Javelin agents Matt Latimer and Keith Urbahn, who represent the anonymous author, assistant attorney general Joseph H Hunt requested that they "provide us with your representations that the author did not sign any non-disclosure agreement and that the author did not have access to any classified information in connection with government service".
Hunt further requested that the publisher and agents provide the government with copies of any non-disclosure agreement they may be privy to, and the dates of the author's employment by the federal government and which agencies the author was employed by.
In a response, Ross wrote that HBG is "not party to any nondisclosure agreements with the US government that would require any pre-publication review of this book, and Hachette routinely relies on its authors to comply with any contractual obligations they may have".
She added that "Hachette has, however, made a commitment of confidentiality to Anonymous and we intend to honour that commitment. Please be assured that Hachette takes its legal responsibilities seriously and, accordingly, Hachette respectfully declines to provide you with the information your letter seeks." HBG is the third of some top publishers to be asked by the Trump administration to cease publication of, or hand over information related to, a book the White House perceives as "unfavourable".
"Our author knows that the President is determined to unmask whistleblowers who may be in his midst. That's one of the reasons A Warning' was written," Javelin said in a statement.
But we support the publisher in its resolve that the administration's effort to intimidate and expose the senior official who has seen misconduct at the highest levels will not prevent this book from moving forward. Described as "a senior official in the Trump administration", anonymous offers a firsthand account of one of the most consequential presidencies in American history.