Judge lets DOJ proceed with lawsuit over Bolton's anti-Trump tell-all

The judge largely upheld the government’s interpretation of nondisclosure agreements Bolton signed.

10/1/2020 11:15:00 PM

The Trump administration won an early round in its court showdown Thursday with John Bolton as a federal judge rejected the former national security adviser’s bid to throw out a lawsuit seeking to seize the proceeds from Bolton’s tell-all memoir

The judge largely upheld the government’s interpretation of nondisclosure agreements Bolton signed.

What happened:The Trump administration won an early round in its court showdown Thursday with John Bolton as a federal judge rejected the former national security adviser’s bid to throw out a lawsuit seeking to seize the proceeds from Bolton’s tell-all memoir.

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U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth largely upheld the government’s interpretation of nondisclosure agreements Bolton signed in exchange for access to both classified information and a more closely held category of secrets known as sensitive compartmented information (SCI).

AdvertisementThe background: Bolton has denied that his book, “The Room Where It Happened,” contains the kind of intelligence sources and methods that are treated as SCI. But Lamberth said Bolton was obliged to submit for prepublication review any book that even discussed topics related to SCI, which typically involves intelligence sources and methods.

Bolton said a broad interpretation of the SCI agreement would force him to submit even a cookbook for advance approval, but the judge rejected that argument out of hand.“While the National Security Advisor's role may require many of his writings to be submitted for prepublication review, the nexuses apply only to information related to intelligence sources and methods,” wrote Lamberth, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan. “Bolton may freely publish a cookbook, unless he intends to edit a set of recipes from CIA operatives and sources.”

Inhis 27-page ruling, Lamberth also said it did not matter legally whether the government designated the information as SCI before or after Bolton disclosed it. The initial suit the Justice Department filed over the book in May claimed only that it contained classified information, but a version filed a few days later added the allegation that it contained SCI.

The former Trump White House official got some backing for his position last month when a lawyer for Ellen Knight, the official who handled the initial phase of the prepublication review of Bolton’s book,claiming that officials close to Trump undertook a secretive, second review of the manuscript after she had already completed a painstaking initial review to remove potentially classified topics from the book.

What’s next:Bolton’s lawyers have asked the court to allow them to take discovery and demand documents from the White House and others in a bid to show that the claims about classified information in the book are just pretexts for an attempt by Trump to suppress a book that paints a deeply unflattering portrait of him.

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Lamberth has yet to rule on Bolton’s motion for discovery or the related government motion for judgment in their favor. If the government prevails in the case, it could be entitled to any advance Bolton received as well as any royalties he may get from the book in the future.

So far in the case, Lamberth has taken a dim view of Bolton’s actions, suggesting he was reckless by failing to stick with the prepublication review process until he got formal notification it was OK to proceed with the book. Bolton’s lawyer has said he thought he had confirmation from Knight that there was nothing classified in the book.

Lamberth suggested in an earlier ruling that Bolton could face criminal prosecution over his actions. No charges have been filed, but POLITICOlast month that a criminal probe appears to be underway, with at least one grand jury subpoena issued to Bolton's publisher.

Read more: POLITICO »

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before the republicans destroyed the DOJ America's best soldiers and police worked there. the department of justice used to be an American organization. now its a republicans law abuse organization that just stops bad press for our illiterate president cant stop freedom of speech HAS THE DOJ ever attacked a book writer before in our history?WHAT KIND OF COMMIES ARE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, ill bet its all appointed republicans ,Ill bet the DOJ doesnt have a single American war hero in the building because the russians dont like war heros.

Trump condemning white supremacist groups Ha ha ha Not a Bolton fan; plainly was in this for himself. That being said, any chance the Judge in this matter was nominated by the GOP? Specifically bone spur? I mean...just asking...for a friend...my SANITY. Business as usual in the political landscape. Impartiality? Quickthink99com

It might proceed to appeal court. Bolton & Trump both suck so... LOVE IT! Why the lawsuit? Because Bolton KNEW what was going on and now it's using that to make $, never protected America first. I don't care, do you? Honestly I hope Trump wins this one. John Bolton is a traitor and does not deserve a dime.

DOJ lawsuit against John Bolton over memoir can proceed, judge rulesA federal judge in DC is allowing the Justice Department’s (DOJ) lawsuit against former National Security Adviser John Bolton for his new memoir to proceed. Oh my John you may just may be in trouble

Judge rules Trump admin failed to justify Mueller report redactions, orders DOJ to publishJudge Reggie Walton said the U.S. Department of Justice had 'failed to satisfy its burden' with claims that parts of the Mueller report were privileged information. Sweeeeeeeet There █████ █ ████ is ███ █ no █████ █ ████ conspiracy █ █████████ █ ████ everything ███ █████ is █████ ████ ████ fine ████ ███ ██████ trust ███ ██████ ███ your █████ ████ government. Oh?! 👀

Judge says government's suit over Bolton book can proceedThe 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&39;s book, “The Room Where It Happened” contains classified Allowed to proceed doesnt equate to theyll win.

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