Comey whets publishers' appetite with news of book

Mr James Comey's book is expected to go on auction this week. All major publishing houses have expressed keen interest.
Mr James Comey's book is expected to go on auction this week. All major publishing houses have expressed keen interest.PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

WASHINGTON • Former FBI director James Comey, who was fired in May by US President Donald Trump, is writing a book about his experience in public service, including his tumultuous and brief tenure under Mr Trump.

Mr Comey has been meeting editors and publishers in New York in recent days. He is being represented by Mr Keith Urbahn and Mr Matt Latimer, partners at the literary agency Javelin.

The book is expected to go to auction this week and all major publishing houses have expressed keen interest, said Mr Latimer.

The book will not be a conventional tell-all memoir, but an exploration of the principles that guided Mr Comey through some of the challenging moments of his legal career. Among these are his investigation into Mrs Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server during last year's contentious election and his recent entanglement with Mr Trump over the FBI's probe into Russia's meddling in the election.

"It's a book about leadership and his search for truth, informed by lessons and experiences he's had throughout his career, including his recent experiences in the Trump administration," said Mr Latimer. "It will speak to a broader desire in our country for more ethical leadership."

Mr Comey has been unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight. When he was fired, he was four years into a 10-year term at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He did not go quietly.

Instead, he leaked the contents of memos he kept that documented his conversations with Mr Trump, including, according to him, a conversation in which the President urged him to drop the federal probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Almost immediately after he was fired, agents and publishers pounced, setting off speculation that Mr Comey was contemplating writing a book. News outlets also ran articles positing that Mr Comey could land an eight-figure advance for a memoir.

Mr Comey's book will go through the standard legal and governmental vetting to ensure that nothing classified is disclosed. But it may still contain some previously unrevealed details about his dealings with Mr Trump. After all, Mr Comey is known to be an assiduous note-taker.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 17, 2017, with the headline 'Comey whets publishers' appetite with news of book'. Print Edition | Subscribe