DOJ Drops Case against John Bolton over White House Memoirs

Policy

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton speaks during a lecture at Duke University in Durham, N.C., February 17, 2020. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

The Justice Department has dropped a lawsuit against former White House adviser John Bolton over the publication of his White House tell-all The Room Where It Happened.

Under the Trump administration, the DOJ sued Bolton and accused him of neglecting to obtain written permission to publish the book, to ensure no state secrets were included in the final text. The lawsuit failed to prevent the book’s release, but the DOJ continued to sue to prevent Bolton from receiving any profits from book sales.

Lawyers for both the DOJ and Bolton informed a federal judge on Wednesday that the DOJ would no longer move forward with the suit.

These actions represent a complete vindication for Ambassador Bolton, and a repudiation of former President Trump’s attempt, under the pretext of protecting classified information, first to suppress the book’s publication and when that failed in court, to penalize the Ambassador,” Sarah Tinsley, the head of the John Bolton Super PAC, said in a statement.

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The lawsuits against Bolton “were initiated only as a result of President Trump’s politically motivated order to prevent publication of the Ambassador’s book before the 2020 election,” Bolton’s lead attorney Charles Cooper said. “The Department of Justice has tacitly acknowledged that President Trump and his White House officials acted illegitimately.”

Bolton’s book was highly critical of the former president. In one passage, Bolton alleged that Trump told Chinese premier Xi Jinping that his policy of building concentration camps for Uyghurs was the correct one. Trump, in turn, has repeatedly criticized Bolton.

Bolton also alleged that Trump told him military aid to Ukraine would be conditioned on that country’s commitment to investigate alleged corruption by Joe and Hunter Biden.

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