U.S. Justice Department subpoenas publisher of John Bolton’s book

Lawrence Kim
September 16, 2020

The Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into the possibility that former national security adviser John Bolton "unlawfully disclosed classified information" in a memoir he published earlier this year, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The subpoenas reportedly ask for all communications the companies had with Bolton as he published his book "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir". A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment, as did the book's publisher, Simon & Schuster.

"Ambassador Bolton emphatically rejects any claim that he acted improperly, let alone criminally, in connection with the publication of his book, and he will cooperate fully, as he has throughout, with any official inquiry into his conduct", Cooper added.

An attorney for Bolton did not immediately return a request for comment.

The government accused Bolton of disregarding a review process meant to clear books for release that might contain classified government information.

Bolton's attorney has argued that the pre-publication review of Bolton's book was unfairly politicized by the White House after he was initially informed by an NSC official Ellen Knight that she had finished the review of his book and "was of the judgment that the manuscript draft did not contain classified information".

Bolton's attorneys wrote that the feds failed to make a good-faith effort to clear Bolton's book in a timely manner, writing in a court filing, "The facts in the public record overwhelmingly indicate that the government violated" its obligation to act in good faith "by undertaking and conducting the second, and unprecedented, further prepublication review ... for the political objective of suppressing, or at least delaying until after the 2020 election, the publication of a book that reported facts portraying President Trump in an unfavorable and embarrassing light". A federal judge rebuffed the administration's attempts, but left open the possibility that Bolton could face criminal charges or be forced to hand over profits related to the book. "But these facts do not control the motion before the Court". The book offered an inside account of Bolton's time as national security adviser, replete with details and anecdotes that embarrassed President Trump. It was only later, Bolton's lawyers say, that other White House officials told him the book still included classified government secrets.

Barr has denied the Justice Department had any political motivations in bringing its case against Bolton.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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