Former National Security Adviser John Bolton is in the process of attempting to release his “bombshell” book about his time in the Trump administration.
The White House attempted to block Bolton from releasing the book, citing national security concerns, but a federal judge just ruled on Saturday morning that the Trump administration cannot stop Bolton from moving forward with next week’s release.
The horse is out of the barn
Democrats are salivating over the potential ammunition against President Trump that Bolton’s much-anticipated book may hold, and have been agitating for him to release the book for months now.
The White House has successfully blocked the release of the book for several months, but it appears that Bolton has won for better or for worse.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled Saturday morning that “while Bolton’s unilateral conduct raises grave national security concerns, the government has not established that an injunction is an appropriate remedy.”
Lamberth also pointed out that Bolton’s book has already been printed and shipped to bookstores across the nation in anticipation of the book’s official release next week.
“The horse, as we used to say in Texas, seems to be out of the barn,” Lamberth said. “It certainly looks difficult to me about what I can do about those books all over the country.”
However, Lamberth did deliver a rebuke to Bolton for his conduct in circumventing protocols in releasing a book that could have potentially sensitive information.
“For reasons that hardly need to be stated, the Court will not order a nationwide seizure and destruction of a political memoir,” Lamberth wrote. “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.”
For better or for worse
While Bolton has secured a temporary victory by pushing ahead with his June 23 release date despite the warning from the federal government, the Trump administration is not without recourse.
In publishing his book without White House approval, Bolton violates his non-disclosure agreement. The Trump administration has already brought a civil case against Bolton, which is still working its way through the courts.
Lamberth warned that Bolton could incur criminal charges if he does indeed expose classified information. “This was Bolton’s bet: If he is right and the book does not contain classified information, he keeps the upside mentioned above,” Lamberth continued. “But if he is wrong, he stands to lose his profits from the book deal, exposes himself to criminal liability, and imperils national security. Bolton was wrong,”