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Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Memoir Such a Dud She Skipped Royalties Report?

By Jake Beardslee · June 19, 2024

Conservative congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene appears to have sidestepped reporting potential income from her recent memoir MTG, raising ethical concerns according to watchdog groups.  SHAWN THEW/Pool / USA TODAY NETWORK

The book, detailing Greene's time in Washington, was published late last year by Winning Team Publishing, a company co-founded by Donald Trump Jr.  Winning Team Publishing

In a statement, Greene's office claimed, "Congresswoman Greene's book agreement was reviewed and approved by the House Ethics Committee and in 2023 there was no financial activity that required reporting."  MCKENZIE LANGE/ Staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

However, ethics experts argue Greene should have disclosed more about her book deal on her annual financial filing.  MCKENZIE LANGE/ Staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

"Even if she hasn't received any royalty payments, my understanding is that she's required to report anticipated royalties in some way," said Robert Maguire, vice president for research and ethics at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), in an interview with The Daily Beast.  Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

The House Ethics Committee's own instruction guide states members must disclose ownership interests in intellectual property worth over $1,000 or that earned more than $200 in income.  MCKENZIE LANGE/ Staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

It further notes, "When an interest in future royalties cannot be ascertained, it is acceptable to disclose the value as 'undetermined.'"  MCKENZIE LANGE/ Staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

"I think there's a good argument that if you have an agreement for a book deal where you're supposed to receive royalties, even if there's a chance that it's not going to actually result in royalties, you should say it's not determined," said Kedric Payne, vice president and senior director of ethics at the Campaign Legal Center, in an interview with The Daily Beast.  Patricio G. Balona / USA TODAY NETWORK

Other lawmakers have taken varied approaches when disclosing book deals. Rep. Jim Jordan listed his 2021 book as an asset of "undetermined" value initially, before reporting it earned between $100,000 and $1 million the following year.  United States Congress / Wikimedia

Rep. Steve Scalise left his 2018 book off that year's disclosure before adding it as a five-figure asset in 2019.  Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia

While Greene may argue she had not yet earned royalties in 2023, there is evidence her book sold well enough to warrant more transparency. Federal filings show the Tarrant County Republican Victory Fund paid Winning Team Publishing nearly $13,000 for 400 copies of MTG at a January event with Greene, suggesting thousands were sold.  Jack Gruber / USA TODAY