A U.S. court on Saturday ruled that the publication of a tell-all book by former national security adviser John Bolton can move forward, denying an attempt by President Donald Trump’s administration to prevent its release.
In his decision Judge Royce Lamberth said that the government failed to prove “irreparable harm” by halting the book’s publication, since much of its contents have already been disclosed through media reports.
“With hundreds of thousands of copies around the globe – many in newsrooms – the damage is done,” Lamberth said in his decision. “There is no restoring the status quo.”
But Lamberth also slammed Bolton saying he “gambled with the national security of the United States” and has exposed himself to possible forfeiture of profits and criminal liability in future court proceedings for failing to fully comply with the government’s classified information review.
The book, titled “The Room Where It Happened,” is scheduled to be released this Tuesday. It depicts Trump’s foreign policy as feckless and driven by personal interest.
Bolton says Trump asked his Chinese counterpart to purchase U.S. agricultural products to help his re-election bid.
He also told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he could intervene in a law enforcement probe to aid a Turkish bank, according to experts published in media reports.
The court’s decision will likely ensure a wider readership of the bombshell book, which comes roughly four months before the US presidential election.
Trump called the decision a “BIG COURT WIN against Bolton” despite losing the injunction request and referred to Bolton as a warmonger who “likes dropping bombs on people, and killing them.”
“Bolton broke the law and has been called out and rebuked for so doing, with a really big price to pay,” Trump said. “Now he will have bombs dropped on him!”
Lamberth said Bolton’s allegation that the White House classification review process was politically motivated did not hold up and he should have allowed more time for review of his 500-page manuscript.
“Many Americans are unable to renew their passports within four months, but Bolton complains that reviewing hundreds of pages of a National Security Advisor’s tell-all deserves a swifter timetable,” Lamberth said.
In his conclusion, Judge Royce Lamberth wrote that Bolton had also “exposed his country to harm and himself to civil [and potentially criminal] liability.” (dpa/NAN)