A federal judge has rejected John Bolton’s request to throw out a lawsuit from the Trump administration. The lawsuit alleges that the former national security adviser published classified information in his memoir, “The Room Where It Happened” directly violating nondisclosure agreements Bolton signed with the White House.
The tell-all book details Bolton’s time as national security adviser to the President and contains detailed descriptions of conversations between foreign leaders that the Department of Justice believes could be politically damaging to the United States. Despite the fact, Bolton was instructed by Ellen Knight, a former National Security Council official to wait to publish the book until he received an official letter giving the go-ahead Bolton proceeded to release the book to the public.
According to reports from The Hill:
“District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said in a 27-page opinion that the lawsuit will move forward because the administration had sufficiently established a likelihood that Bolton had violated the contracts by bypassing a required prepublication approval for the book.
The government has the power to prevent harm to the national security,” wrote Lamberth, who was appointed to the federal court in D.C. by former President Reagan. “While the government may not prevent Bolton from publishing unclassified materials, it may require him to undergo a reasonable prepublication review process.”
The Department of Justice filed its civil suit in June, shortly before the book was set to go on sale. Lamberth rejected the administration’s effort to obtain a restraining order against the publication, saying that it was too late and that the book was already widely available.
“In taking it upon himself to publish his book without securing final approval from national intelligence authorities, Bolton may indeed have caused the country irreparable harm,” Lamberth wrote in a June decision.
The ruling comes as a major blow to Bolton as the judge rejected every reason Bolton offered for dismissing the suit. The Justice Department also launched a separate criminal investigation into Bolton’s underhanded actions however they were not the subject of Thursday’s ruling. So far, there has been no direct indication that Bolton will attempt to appeal the Court’s decision.