Comer’s possible book deal spurs Democratic group to request ethics investigation

EXCLUSIVE — House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) could be facing an ethics investigation after a report surfaced Kentucky Republican is in talks to secure a book deal while leading Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

The Democratic-aligned Congressional Integrity Project is requesting the Office of Congressional Ethics look into whether Comer requested approval for the reported book deal, according to a letter the group sent the office on Tuesday. The letter comes in response to a report from Axios that Comer has spoken with at least one publisher about a book detailing the impeachment inquiry.

“Throughout his entire investigation, Representative Comer has used his role as Chairman of the House Oversight Committee for personal and political gain,” the group wrote in its letter, which was first shared with the Washington Examiner. “The new reporting about a potential book deal is troubling as it appears Representative Comer is planning on using his unique position as Oversight Chair to turn a profit.”

Under House rules, lawmakers are prohibited from receiving copyright royalties unless the contract is first approved by the House Standards Committee. In its request, the CIP is pushing the ethics office to determine whether Comer was approved to discuss possible book deals. 

The alleged deal was discovered after the publisher HarperCollins posted a placeholder cover for a book written by Comer titled All the President’s Money with a publication date of Sept. 10, according to Axios. Comer’s office has denied there is a book deal, saying there is no book written and that he has not entered a publishing agreement.

“The link was put up in error by Harper Collins,” Comer spokesman Austin Hacker told the outlet in a statement. “It was not authorized by Congressman Comer and he immediately requested it be taken down.”

However, Hacker acknowledged that Comer has “been in discussions with Harper Collins about a potential book.” News of such discussions is sure to spark some criticism among House Democrats, particularly those who have already decried the impeachment inquiry as being politically motivated. 

It’s unclear whether the Office of Congressional Ethics will look into the matter, and the Washington Examiner contacted a spokesperson for comment. 

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The CIP has worked for months to attack Republicans’ impeachment investigation, targeting vulnerable lawmakers for “ignoring critical priorities” and instead focusing on “bogus investigations.” The group even launched a seven-figure campaign last year attacking Republicans in 17 districts across eight states over the inquiry. 

The letter also comes as the investigation into Biden reaches a make-or-break moment, as some lawmakers have grown weary of the monthslong effort that has failed to uncover evidence of wrongdoing by the president. Since then, some GOP members have raised questions about whether the inquiry will even lead to a vote for impeachment or if such a measure would pass the lower chamber.

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