- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice sent a letter to the publishers representing an anonymous Trump administration official who authored a tell-all book about Donald Trump's presidency, claiming the author may be violating "one or more nondisclosure agreements."
The publisher and the author's agents are rejecting the argument and defended the official, calling the move an attempt to “intimidate" them.
The book, titled "A Warning," is set to be released on Nov. 19. The publisher said the person's identity will remain a secret and that the book picks up "where those first words of warning left off" after the explosive op-ed in The New York Times penned last year by the official.
"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," literary agency Javelin said in a statement obtained by USA TODAY. "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."
The letter from Associate Attorney General Joseph Hunt asks Carol Ross, the top lawyer for Hachette Book Group, and Javelin agents Matt Latimer and Keith Urbahn, to “immediately provide us with your representations that the author did not sign any nondisclosure agreement and that the author did not have access to any classified information in connection with government service.”
Twelve, a division of Hachette Book Group, combated the DOJ's letter Monday, saying they are "not party to any nondisclosure agreements with the U.S. government that would require any pre-publication review of this book” and reiterated that they “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,” the publisher continued.
Trump publicly blasted the author at the time of the op-ed and accused the Times of fabricating it, tweeting "Does the so-called 'Senior Administration Official' really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source?"
The book comes as Trump is embroiled in an impeachment probe into his dealings with Ukraine, sparked by a whistleblower complaint, also from an anonymous person.
Contributing: Jeanine Santucci and David Jackson
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Anonymous tell-all book on Trump gets its own warning from DOJ