Publisher of Upcoming Book Rejects Justice Department Demand to Out ‘Anonymous’ Op-Ed Writer

The publisher of an upcoming book by the anonymous Trump administration official who penned a New York Times op-ed claiming to be part of an internal “resistance” rejected the Justice Department’s demand to reveal the official’s identity.

In September of 2018, an anonymous senior administration official wrote an op-ed claiming he was among the “many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”

Last month, The Times reported that the official had signed a deal to publish “A Warning,” a book about the inner workings of the Trump administration. The official is reportedly forgoing an advance and will donate any proceeds to nonprofits.

“The author could have easily gotten a seven-figure advance and the author refused it,” agent Matt Latimer told The Times. “The book is a public service, in the author’s view.”

DOJ goes after author:

The Justice Department demanded identifying information about the author from the publisher, warning that the author may be subject to nondisclosure agreements, NBC News reported.

The letter, signed by Assistant Attorney General Joseph Hunt, asked for copies of the author’s nondisclosure agreements "or the dates of the author's service and the agencies where the author was employed, so that we may determine the terms of the author's nondisclosure agreements and ensure that they have been followed."

The letter said that the book may violate prior agreements "if the author is, in fact, a current or former 'senior official' in the Trump administration."

Publisher rejects DOJ demand:

“Hachette is not party to any nondisclosure agreements with the U.S. 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,” replied Carol Ross, the executive vice president of Hachette Books. “Hachette has, however, made a commitment of confidentiality to Anonymous and we intend to honor 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."


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