DOJ seeks temporary restraining order blocking Bolton book release
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is asking a judge to temporarily block the release of former national security adviser John Bolton‘s upcoming memoir, arguing that it contains classified information.
The Trump administration filed an emergency application Wednesday asking for a restraining order to halt the publication of Bolton’s book, called “The Room Where It Happened.”
“To be clear: Defendant’s manuscript still contains classified information, as confirmed by some of the Government’s most senior national-security and intelligence officials,” reads the DOJ’s memorandum supporting their argument.
“Disclosure of the manuscript will damage the national security of the United States,” it continues.
The application includes declarations from top U.S. intelligence and national security officials, including Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone.
The motion comes the same day The Hill and other news outlets published details of the book almost a week before its release, including explosive allegations that President Trump asked Chinese leader Xi Jinping to help him get a competitive edge in the upcoming presidential race against former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Bolton claims Trump stressed the importance of getting the vote from U.S. farmers and advocated that China make more purchases of U.S. soybeans and wheat to help his electoral chances.
While Bolton does touch on infighting within the White House, he focuses heavily on Trump’s foreign policy.
The DOJ’s filing escalates the legal fight between Bolton and the White House over the publication of the book.
Bolton announced plans earlier this year to move forward with the memoir’s publication after a dispute with the White House, saying at the time that he had removed all classified information from the book.
The White House argues Bolton did not receive the green light to use such information, that he is in violation of his nondisclosure agreement with the Trump White House and that he will be publishing classified information.
“The type of classified information in these passages is the type of information that foreign adversaries of the United States seek to obtain, at great cost, through covert intelligence,” Ratcliffe wrote his signed declaration.
“Unauthorized disclosure of these types of classified information could reveal, in some instances, the limits and, in some instances, the capabilities of U.S. intelligence collection and would cause irreparable damage to national security,” Trump’s intelligence chief continues.
The motion for an injunction comes as part of a lawsuit the Justice Department filed on Tuesday against Bolton over the book’s publication.
Bolton’s publisher slammed the lawsuit in a statement, calling it “the latest in a long running series of efforts by the Administration to quash publication of a book it deems unflattering to the President.”
“Ambassador Bolton has worked in full cooperation with the NSC in its pre-publication review to address its concerns and Simon & Schuster fully supports his First Amendment right to tell the story of his time in the White House to the American public,” Simon & Schuster said in a statement.
While the restraining order against Bolton is a civil case, he could face criminal charges if the DOJ decides to prosecute him over the information he has included in his book, should he proceed with the book’s publication next week.
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