A federal judge has denied Trump's attempt to block the publication of John Bolton's tell-all book. John Bolton was Trump's former national security adviser who spilled about what the Trump administration did in the White House for the past four years.
The distribution will proceed
Judge Royce Lamberth of the DC District Court wrote in a 10-page decision on June 20. He stated that the Justice Department's arguments were not enough to justify the desire to stop the release of Bolton's book. He cited how the book had already been widely distributed and it could easily be distributed further on the internet even if the court decides that it could not be.
Judge Lamberth also noted that John Bolton could still be exposed to criminal liability. Before he departed for his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, President Trump praised Judge Lamberth and said that the judge was indignant at what Bolton did. He said that he thinks that the judge was smart and the ruling was great.
The judge criticized Bolton for proceeding with the publication of the tell-all book before he got any approval. Lamberth said that Bolton did not undergo the proper review process and he immediately went into the publication and distribution of the book, stating that Bolton is after the sales and the publicity.
On June 19, a day before the judge's decision was released, Lamberth met with the lawyers of the Trump administration and Bolton's team. CNN reported that the hearing went on for almost 2 hours, and according to Judge Lamberth, Trump's lawyers convinced him that the sensitive national security information was still included in Bolton's book.
The judge's decision came on June 20 because he waited for additional details from the Justice Department. Lamberth then wrote that after reviewing the classified materials, the Court was persuaded that Bolton jeopardized national security because he disclosed classified information in violation of his nondisclosure agreement obligations.
Because of this, a reviewer from the National Security Council will remove all classified information from the book before it gets published. However, the White House still deemed the book to be confidential since there are still details on the book that is classified information.
On June 20, after the decision was given, Trump posted on Twitter that even though the book will be published, Bolton will still face the consequences of violating his nondisclosure agreement. Trump called it a "big court win."
In a separate statement, the White House stated that the Government will hold Bolton accountable for his actions and they will make sure that he won't get any profit from the sales of the book. They added that was Bolton did was shameful because he placed his desire for publicity and money ahead of his obligation to protect national security.
Bolton made stunning accusations against President Trump, claiming that he asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him win the upcoming 2020 US presidential election. Bolton also said that Trump supports China's concentration camps.
Several news outlets were able to obtain copies of the book before its worldwide release because before the Justice Department sued, Bolton's publisher, Simon & Shuster, had already distributed 200,000 copies domestically. Thousands more were distributed in Australia, Canada, India, and the UK.