A federal judge on Saturday denied the Trump administration’s request to block a book by former National Security Advisor John Bolton.
The upcoming book, “The Room Where It Happens,” is filled with criticisms of Trump. The Justice Department sued Bolton Tuesday to delay the release of book.
“While Bolton’s unilateral conduct raises grave national security concerns, the government has not established that an injunction is an appropriate remedy,” U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth wrote, according to Politico.
The book suggests that Trump used the phase 1 China trade as leverage for the 2020 presidential election. Bolton, in his book, also claims Trump approved of Chinese President Xi Jinping building concentration camps to hold Uighur muslims.
The ruling comes after a Friday hearing conducted over videoconference and telephone due to coronavirus concerns, the publication reports.
“The horse, as we used to say in Texas, seems to be out of the barn. It certainly seems difficult to me about what I could do about those books all over the country,” Lamberth said.
Lamberth pushed DOJ attorney David Morrell to explain what the benefits of delaying the release of the book would be since so many copies have already been distributed — though Lamberth also pushed Bolton’s attorney on why Bolton would publish the book without written authorization from the National Security Council.
“This is not an all or nothing proposition,” Morrell said, according to Politico. “The government still has an interest in stemming the flow of classified text out of Simon & Schuster and all of those affiliates … and its distribution chain.”
“The onus is on Mr. Bolton to figure out how to do this …This is a problem of his own making,” Morrell added, saying Bolton should “claw the book back.”
Bolton’s attorney Chuck Cooper told the judge that Bolton followed his legal obligations to the letter of the law, to which Lamberth replied: “No, he didn’t.”
“He had an obligation … once he invoked that process, he can’t just walk away,” Lamberth said. “He didn’t tell the government he was walking away. He just walked away and told the publisher ‘go publish.’”
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