WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration can move forward with its lawsuit against former national security adviser John Bolton over his tell-all book, a judge ruled Thursday in denying a request to dismiss the complaint.
The Justice Department alleges that Bolton’s book, “The Room Where It Happened” contains classified information, and the government sued in June to try to prevent the release. Though the book was published as scheduled, a suit accusing Bolton of breaking contracts with the government by disclosing classified information and by failing to complete a required prepublication review can proceed, U.S District Judge Royce Lamberth said in a 29-page opinion.
The book, which details Bolton’s 17 months as Trump’s national security adviser, contains descriptions of conversations with foreign leaders that could be seen as politically damaging to the president. Those include accounts that Trump tied providing military aid to Ukraine to that country’s willingness to conduct investigations into Democratic rival Joe Biden and Biden’s son Hunter, and that Trump asked China’s President Xi Jinping to help his reelection prospects.
Lamberth in June denied the government’s request for an injunction to block the book from being published, given that thousands of copies had already been distributed. But he also scolded Bolton for moving ahead with the book’s publication without waiting for formal, written authorization that the book had been cleared.