Senior officials in Donald Trump’s administration planned to resign en masse to protest against his behaviour, a new book reportedly claims.
A Warning is penned by the anonymous author of last year’s explosive “I am part of the resistance” op-ed in the New York Times, which described a cadre of employees secretly working to counter the president’s conduct.
It claims that some officials plotted a “midnight self-massacre” designed to sound an alarm about Mr Trump’s allegedly erratic behaviour behind closed doors at the White House. Ultimately the group decided against resigning to avoid destabilising the government, the book further claims.
And its author admits that the “resistance” had failed to influence the president.
A copy of the book was obtained by the Washington Post ahead of its 19 November release. Mr Trump’s press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, described it as a cowardly “work of fiction”.
“The coward who wrote this book didn’t put their name on it because it is nothing but lies,” she said in a statement.
The book’s unnamed author told the Post that they may reveal their identity in the future but had authored the tome anonymously because “this debate is not about me”.
On Monday, the Justice Department sent a letter to the book’s publisher and the writer’s literary agency, suggesting a confidentiality agreement may have been violated and asking for information that could help reveal the author’s identity.
The publisher, Hachette, responded by saying it would provide no additional information beyond calling the author a “current or former senior official”.
It comes as Mr Trump faces impeachment over his allies’ dealings with Ukraine.
Congressional Democrats are set to begin public hearings in the probe of how Trump administration officials – and the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani – pressured Ukraine’s president to publicly declare a corruption investigation into the Biden family in exchange for military aid.
Additional reporting by AP
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