Judge Royce Lamberth of the D.C. District Court said no to the Trump administration’s request to block former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s memoir, The Room Where It Happened, from being released this week, the Washington Examiner reported.
Judge Lamberth ruled that since the details of the book are already available, it’s too late to stop any potential leak of classified information.
“For reasons that hardly need to be stated, the Court will not order a nationwide seizure and destruction of a political memoir,” the judge said, according to the Examiner.
“Bolton was wrong”
While this may be another bad defeat in court for President Donald Trump, this really is just a temporary setback in the grand scheme of things; Judge Lamberth didn’t let Bolton off the hook without a serious warning.
“He [Bolton] opted out of the review process before its conclusion,” the judge wrote, according to the Examiner. “Unilateral fast-tracking carried the benefit of publicity and sales, and the cost of substantial risk exposure.
“This was Bolton’s bet: If he 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,” the judge added.
Simply put, according to Lamberth, “Bolton was wrong.” But there’s nothing the Justice Department can do to stop him now — other than charge him later if parts of the book do turn out to contain classified information.
The drama surrounding Bolton’s book has been a microcosm of American politics over the last 10 years. Indeed, the book includes numerous outrageous — and unfounded — claims, some of which have already been refuted, including by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“I’ve not read the book, but from the excerpts I’ve seen published, John Bolton is spreading a number of lies, fully-spun half-truths, and outright falsehoods,” Pompeo said in a statement released by the State Department last week. “It is both sad and dangerous that John Bolton’s final public role is that of a traitor who damaged America by violating his sacred trust with its people.”
According to Politico, Bolton alleged, for instance, that “Trump encouraged China’s construction of camps for its Uighur population, and that he pleaded with Chinese President Xi Jinping to purchase American agricultural products in order to aid his reelection.”
These fantastical claims, if true, would certainly raise interest among those on the left. Democrats attempted to impeach President Trump for far less, after all.
However, Bolton’s credibility has been all but shot, even with Dems, after he seemed to save the juicy bits for his book rather than testifying during the House’s impeachment proceedings late last year. For now, it seems Bolton is simply looking to profit by pushing gossip — but only time will tell if anyone actually buys what he’s selling.