White House says it plans to ensure Bolton gets 'no profits' from book

The White House plans to ensure that former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump envoy says US ready to talk to North Korea but rebukes Pyongyang counterpart Why Trump can't make up his mind on China The benefits of American disinterest in world affairs MORE receives “no profits” from his book after a federal judge denied the administration’s request to block it.

“The Government intends to hold Bolton to the further requirements of his agreements and to ensure that he receives no profits from his shameful decision to place his desire for money and attention ahead of his obligations to protect national security,” the White House press secretary said in a statement. 

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth wrote in an order released Saturday, “If [Bolton] is right and the book does not contain classified information, he keeps the upside mentioned above; but if he is wrong, he stands to lose his profits from the book deal, exposes himself to criminal liability, and imperils national security.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“Bolton was wrong,” Lamberth, a Reagan appointee, concluded.

The judge’s ruling found that the Justice Department’s push to stop the publishing of the book came after it was printed and shipped, meaning the court could not do much to stop its distribution. The judge appeared to suggest he would have granted the injunction had it come before the book was printed. 

Lambreth said, “Bolton has gambled with the national security of the United States [and] likely jeopardized national security by disclosing classified information in violation of his nondisclosure agreement obligations.” 

The White House said the ruling “vindicated the Government’s claims” and “chastised” Bolton for allegedly violating the nondisclosure agreements he signed when he joined the White House that required him to submit any books he planned to write for a prepublication review.

In the book, which is set to publish Tuesday, Bolton claims that Trump committed impeachable offenses that House Democrats never investigated, such as allegedly trying to persuade Chinese President Xi Jinping to buy large amounts of agricultural products to improve his reelection prospects in agricultural states.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” Bolton wrote.

Bolton, who refused to testify during the House impeachment hearings last year after leaving the administration, said that House Democrats committed “impeachment malpractice” in limiting their inquiry to Ukraine. 

His statement triggered bitter reactions from Democratic party leaders, such as House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSupreme Court expands religious rights with trio of rulings Congress must act now to fix a Social Security COVID-19 glitch and expand, not cut, benefits Democrats see victory in Trump culture war MORE (Calif.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocrats hit Trump for handling of Russian bounty allegations after White House briefing Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November Democrats face tough questions with Bolton MORE (Calif.).