Little, Brown has confirmed it is pushing ahead with publication of A Warning, the new tell-all about Donald Trump's administration by an anonymous senior official, despite the US Department of Justice warning Hachette that the author may be violating "one or more" NDAs.
The attempted block by the DoJ comes just two weeks ahead of publication. The book, authored by the official who wrote the New York Times op ed “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” in September 2018, describing efforts to "thwart parts of [the president's] agenda and his worst inclinations" from within, is due to be released under Hachette UK division Little, Brown in the UK and Hachette Book Group Twelve, an imprint of Grand Central, in the US on 19th November.
Following suggestions from Trump that the anonymous official was guilty of "treason", a letter from the DoJ sent by assistant attorney general Joseph H Hunt requested of Hachette Book Group's general counsel Carol Ross and the anonymous author's agents at Javelin that they "immediately 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".
However, Ross at HBG responded it 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".
The publishing house reiterated that they "made a commitment of confidentiality to Anonymous and we intend to honor that commitment", adding: "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 author's literary agents at Javelin – the agency also represents former FBI Director James Comey – praised the publisher's response, commenting in turn: "Our author knows the President is determined to unmask whistleblowers who may be in his midst. That's one of the reasons A Warning was written. 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 the book from moving forward."
A spokesperson for Little, Brown, the book's publisher in the UK told The Bookseller: "Little, Brown will be publishing on 19th November 2019 as planned."
A Warning was first announced by Little, Brown in October. It said then: "Picking up from where those first words of warning left off, this explosive book offers a shocking, first-hand account of President Trump and his record."