- The Department of Justice on Wednesday filed for an emergency restraining order to stop the publication of former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s bombshell book, claiming that it still contains classified information.
- The government wants a hearing to take place on Friday ahead of the release of Bolton’s memoir “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” set to be released on June 23.
- The Trump administration filed a lawsuit against Bolton on Tuesday to prevent the book’s publication, accusing Bolton of breaching his contract and compromising national security.
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The Department of Justice on Wednesday filed for an emergency restraining order to stop the publication of former national security advisor John Bolton’s bombshell book.
In the motion, government officials claimed the book still contains classified information that Bolton is publishing without permission. The government wants the hearing to take place on Friday ahead of the release of Bolton’s memoir “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” set to be released on June 23.
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in a statement that the publication of Bolton’s book would “damage our national security and threaten the sources and methods the Intelligence Community relies upon to safeguard the American people.”
“Regardless of rank and position, every individual entrusted with access to our nation’s secrets has a legal duty and responsibility to protect classified information,” he said.
According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, Simon & Schuster, the publisher of Bolton’s memoir, called the DOJ filing “a frivolous, politically motivated exercise in futility.”
“Hundreds of thousands of copies of the book have already been distributed around the country and the world,” the publisher said.
According to The Washington Post, the filing includes declarations by four US intelligence officials, including Michael Ellis, the National Security Council’s new senior director for intelligence, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, William Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, and National Security Agency head Paul Nakasone.
Bolton’s lawyer Chuck Cooper published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal last week accusing the White House of blocking the publication of the book. Cooper said Trump officials were using national security “as a pretext to prevent the publication” of the memoir.
Cooper did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the latest DOJ filing.
According to Cooper, Bolton, who resigned from the Trump administration in September 2019, “took care as he wrote to avoid revealing anything that might be classified,” and went through multiple rounds of edits on the book with a senior national security director, “often line by line.”
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement on Twitter that Bolton was a “misguided hawk on foreign policy, but a weak dove of an author.” She called his book a “legal-pad-turned-novel,” and said Bolton’s memoir is “debunked” by previous compliments he gave the president.
The Trump administration filed a lawsuit against Bolton on Tuesday to prevent the book’s publication, accusing Bolton of breaching his contract and compromising national security.
On Monday, Trump warned of “legal consequences” against Bolton if the book was published as planned, saying that he would “consider every conversation with me as president highly classified.”
Bolton has already teased chapters of his book, including discussions of the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which became the subject of Trump’s impeachment and subsequent Senate trial. Trump was ultimately acquitted of charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in February.
The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal also published excerpts from the book on Wednesday, which included allegations that Trump wanted to “give personal favors to dictators he liked,” and that Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to purchase large quantities of American soybeans in order to help his 2020 reelection prospects.