If you’re the kind of person who could conceivably be moved by the riveting prose of former Attorney General William Barr, well, you’re in luck.
Barr, the two-time attorney general—first under George H.W. Bush and later Donald Trump—recently sold his first book and began writing it in the past two months, Politico reported Monday. The book will reportedly be about Barr’s combined four years at the Justice Department, from 1991-1993 and then February 2019 to this past December, when he resigned shortly before Christmas.
Before departing office, Barr came under attack from Trump over not adequately entertaining the then-president’s election fraud conspiracies and his handling of the Justice Department probe. But for the most part, Barr resumed his reputation as a law-and-order warrior with a view of executive power that was less expansive than it was all-encompassing.
During the George Floyd protests that shaped his final year in office, for example, Barr threatened funding cuts to so-called “anarchist” cities, sent federal riot cops to police D.C. protests, and denied that racism exists in the American criminal justice system.
In addition to Barr, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett—Trump’s third and final Supreme Court selection—reportedly got a $2 million advance for a forthcoming book about how judges shouldn’t bring their personal feelings into deciding a case, Politico reported.
Barr isn’t the only former Trump official taking a book deal to the bank. Former Vice President Mike Pence—who was also criticized by Trump and even threatened by some of the former president’s supporters for not stopping the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory on January 6—signed a two-book deal with Simon & Schuster for somewhere between $3 million and $4 million, CNN reported earlier this month.
Former Trump coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas, an advocate of COVID-19 “herd immunity” who criticized mask mandates, also recently sold a book, according to Politico. Trump’s son-in-law and former senior adviser Jared Kushner is also planning to write a book, Reuters reported last month.
Other former Trump officials have already published books, including former national security advisor John Bolton, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, former press secretaries Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Sean Spicer, and former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor.
But the well may soon run dry.
“It would be hard to imagine anyone on the inside offering us any wisdom, insight or even good storytelling that would educate, enrich or even entertain us at this point,” literary agent Gail Ross told Politico.
“Books are selling quite well today because they offer us those elements,” Ross added. “I presume a couple may convince a publisher otherwise. For me, tall tales by Trump acolytes don’t cut it.”