James Comey has book deal, publication set for next spring
NEW YORK — Former FBI Director James Comey has a book deal.
Flatiron Books told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Comey is writing a book about leadership and decision making that will draw upon his career in government. Comey will write about experiences that made him the FBI’s best-known and most controversial FBI head in recent times, from his handling of the bureau’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server to allegations of ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Trump fired Comey in May and soon after told NBC News that he was angered by the FBI’s investigation into “this Russia thing with Trump and Russia,” which he called a fake story. Comey has since testified before Congress that Trump asked him to end an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn and kept memos about his meetings with the president.
According to Flatiron, Comey will cite “examples from some of the highest-stakes situations in the past two decades of American government” and “share yet-unheard anecdotes from his long and distinguished career.”
The book is currently untitled and scheduled for publication next spring.
“Throughout his career, James Comey has had to face one difficult decision after another as he has served the leaders of our country,” Flatiron Publisher and President Bob Miller said in a statement. “His book promises to take us inside those extraordinary moments in our history, showing us how these leaders have behaved under pressure. By doing so, Director Comey will give us unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in leadership itself.”
Comey was represented by Matt Latimer and Keith Urbahn of Javelin. Financial terms were not disclosed, but several publishers bid for the book and three officials with knowledge of the negotiations said the auction topped $2 million. The officials asked not to be identified because were not authorized to discuss the book.
Over the past two decades, Comey has been praised and criticized by both Democrats and Republicans. In 2004, he was among the Justice Department officials who threatened to quit after White House officials in the George W. Bush administration pressured then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was recovering from gallbladder surgery, to authorize a domestic surveillance program begun in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. (The program was eventually restructured).
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Comey was twice at the center of news involving the FBI’s investigation of whether Clinton, the Democratic candidate, broke any laws when she used a private email server while secretary of state.
In June 2016, Comey announced that while the bureau had concluded there was no reason to bring criminal charges, he chastised Clinton and her associates for being “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.” In late October, less than two weeks before Election Day, he issued a letter to Congress saying that the FBI had found emails that “appear to be pertinent” to the investigation.
While Comey announced two days before the election that no charges would be recommended, the renewed attention to Clinton’s emails is widely believed to have damaged the candidate, who lost narrowly to Trump.
Comey was appointed as FBI director by President Barack Obama in 2013. On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed his successor, Christopher Wray, a former high-ranking official in President George W. Bush’s Justice Department who oversaw investigations into corporate fraud.