Book Publication: Federal judge rules in favor of Bolton
A federal judge has ruled that former national security adviser to Donald Trump, John Bolton, can publish his book.
The book which President Donald Trump was fiercely trying to block contains classified information about the ineptitude that characterizes his administration.
The ruling of the District Judge Royce Lamberth on Saturday June 20, 2020, was a victory for Bolton.
The judge also clarified his concerns that "Bolton had taken it upon himself to publish his memoir without formal clearance from a White House that says it was still reviewing it for classified information."
“Defendant Bolton has gambled with the national security of the United States. He has exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability,” Lamberth wrote.
“But these facts do not control the motion before the Court. The government has failed to establish that an injunction will prevent irreparable harm," he added.
The White House insisted that the legal fight would continue, saying it would try to prevent Bolton from profiting off the book.
President Donald Trump tweeted that Bolton “broke the law by releasing Classified Information in massive amounts.
"He must pay a very big price for this, as others have before him. This should never to happen again!!!”
Bolton’s lawyer, Chuck Cooper, applauded Lamberth for thwarting the government’s attempt to stop the the publication of the book.
Publisher Simon & Schuster said the decision “vindicated the strong First Amendment protections against censorship and prior restraint of publication.″
Bolton’s team insisted that Bolton had spent months addressing White House concerns about classified information and that Bolton had been assured in late April by the official he was working with that the manuscript no longer contained any such material.
Bolton’s lawyers said the Trump administration’s efforts to block the book were a pretext to censor him for an account that the White House found unfavorable.
The judge did not take issue with those concerns in his order. But with more than 200,000 copies of the book already distributed to booksellers across the country, attempting to block its release would be futile, Lamberth wrote. Major media organizations also obtained the book and published comprehensive accounts about it.
“In taking it upon himself to publish his book without securing final approval from national intelligence authorities, Bolton may indeed have caused the country irreparable harm. But in the Internet age, even a handful of copies in circulation could irrevocably destroy confidentiality,” Lamberth wrote.
“With hundreds of thousands of copies around the globe — many in newsrooms — the damage is done. There is no restoring the status quo,” the judge wrote.
Bolton’s book, “The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir,” depicts a president whose foreign policy objectives were inexorably linked to his own political gain.
Bolton says Trump “pleaded” with China’s Xi Jinping during a 2019 summit to help Trump’s reelection prospects. Bolton writes that Trump linked the supply of military assistance to Ukraine to that country’s willingness to conduct investigations into Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter — allegations that were at the heart of an impeachment trial that ended with Trump’s acquittal by the Senate in February.