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

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 16, 2020

Federal prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into the publication of former National Security Adviser John Bolton's book, notching up the pressure on a critic of and former insider in the Trump administration. The grand jury also issued a subpoena to Bolton's literary agency Javelin, The Wall Street Journal reported.

A representative for Simon & Schuster, which published the book in June, did not immediately return TheWrap's request for comment. Trump has torn into the book (and Bolton himself) ever since its publication was announced, denouncing his former official as a "sick puppy" and dismissing the "scandals" detailed in the memoir as "a compilation of lies and made-up stories, all meant to make me look bad".

But in that opinion, D.C. District Judge Royce Lamberth castigated Bolton, saying that his decision to publish the book without receiving final notice from the White House that its review of classified information was complete "raises grave national security concerns".

After viewing classified declarations and discussing them in a closed hearing, Judge Lambert also said that he was "persuaded that defendant Bolton likely jeopardized national security by disclosing classified information in violation of his nondisclosure agreement obligations". Bolton also said Trump is woefully uninformed about basic matters of foreign policy and is obsessed with shaping media coverage of his presidency.

The Times noted that Trump has signaled that he wants Bolton prosecuted, including in tweets this summer in which he claimed Bolton "broke the law" and "should be in jail, money seized, for disseminating, for profit, highly Classified information".

The book offered an inside account of Bolton's time as national security adviser, replete with details and anecdotes that embarrassed President Trump.

The Trump administration previously sought a court order to prevent Bolton from publishing the book, which is highly critical of Trump.

"Bolton has gambled with the national security of the United States", Judge Lamberth wrote.

The memoir detailed Trump's alleged attempts to pressure Ukraine and China to investigate Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, as well as his behind-the-scenes dealings with Turkey and North Korea.

National Security Council and Justice Department lawyers were hesitant to launch a criminal probe due to Trump's many public statements condemning Bolton, the sources claimed - though the same judge who declined to halt the book's release in June had already affirmed the validity of their case. Trump, Bolton said, "just despised any indication that somehow Russian Federation had influenced his election in 2016 because he felt it would delegitimize it".

Bolton's team argued that the government had all-but given approval only to start stalling at the end of the process.

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