POLITICS

Federal Judge Denies Trump Administration’s Attempt To Block Release Of Bolton’s Book

Jun 20, 2020, 9:25 AM | Updated: 9:26 am
A federal judge has denied the Trump administration's attempt to block the upcoming publication of ...
A federal judge has denied the Trump administration's attempt to block the upcoming publication of a book by former national security adviser John Bolton. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A federal judge has denied the Trump administration’s attempt to block the upcoming publication of a book by former national security adviser John Bolton.

Judge Royce Lamberth of the DC District Court wrote in a 10-page decision Saturday morning that the Justice Department’s arguments weren’t enough to stop the book’s release. He cited how the book, which is scheduled to be released Tuesday, had already been widely distributed, and could easily be distributed further on the internet, even if the court said it could not be.

“For reasons that hardly need to be stated, the Court will not order a nationwide seizure and destruction of a political memoir,” Lamberth wrote.

The judge’s ruling Saturday quickly dispels a long-shot attempt by the Trump administration to stymy the book’s release — an attempt roundly condemned as antithetical to the First Amendment. But Lamberth’s decision also keeps alive major risks for Bolton, such as the administration’s effort to claw back proceeds from the book, including from any movie and TV rights, and other consequences for disclosing classified information.

Lamberth also noted Bolton could still be exposed to criminal liability.

The court fight over Bolton’s book has turned the former national security adviser’s skirmish with President Donald Trump into a symbolic fight over freedom of speech and the press, and allowed Bolton to push for an outside referee over whether the White House’s national security decision-making was proper, or done to protect Trump politically in an election year.

Lamberth had heard from Trump administration lawyers and Bolton’s team at an almost two-hour hearing Friday, three days after the Justice Department first sued. He reviewed the executive branch’s classification descriptions in private following the public hearing.

In the decision Saturday, Lamberth also slammed Bolton for moving the publication forward before he formally got the administration’s approval.

“He opted out of the review process before its conclusion. Unilateral fast-tracking carried the benefit of publicity and sales, and the cost of substantial risk exposure. This was Bolton’s bet: If he is right and the book does not contain classified information, he keeps the upside mentioned above; but if he is wrong, he stands to lose his profits from the book deal, exposes himself to criminal liability, and imperils national security,” Lamberth wrote. “Bolton was wrong.”

Lamberth said the Trump administration convinced him on Friday that sensitive national security information was still included in the book. The judge didn’t make a decision at the almost two-hour hearing Friday and said he would wait to review more details from the Justice Department before deciding.

“Upon reviewing the classified materials, as well as the declarations filed on the public docket, the Court is persuaded that Defendant Bolton likely jeopardized national security by disclosing classified information in violation of his nondisclosure agreement obligations,” Lamberth wrote.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Politics

Chris Jensen and Chris Wharton have been married for six years....
Mike Anderson

LGBTQ+ community concerned Supreme Court could revisit same-sex marriage

An opinion filed by Justice Clarence Thomas has some people concerned over whether the Supreme Court could reconsider other past rulings, including same-sex marriage and contraception.
1 day ago
...
Erin Cox

Faith leaders: Abortion conversation has changed, not religious stances

KSL's Erin Cox spoke one-on-one with some of Utah's most influential faith leaders about how their stances on abortion have not changed, but the conversations surrounding them have.
1 day ago
FILE: Image of a pregnant woman. (Deseret News, Sara Reid)...
Ashley Moser

Does Utah adequately fund support for women with unwanted pregnancies?

The number one reason Utah women seek an abortion is socioeconomic, according to statistics from the Utah Department of Health. As KSL's Ashley Moser explains, experts say there are policies lawmakers should consider right now to help women financially.
1 day ago
The Utah State Capitol on Friday, March 25 when the Utah House and Senate voted to overturn a veto....
Larry D. Curtis

BREAKING: Abortion now prohibited in Utah

The Utah law prohibiting abortion, with some exceptions, is now part of Utah legal code according to a notice sent from the Utah State Legislature Friday.
1 day ago
Meeting of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with representatives of foreign media. (Ukrainia...
Associated Press

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts
1 day ago
Abortion-rights and Anti-Abortion rights activists fill first street in front of the U.S. Supreme C...
Cindy St. Clair

How abortion laws will change in states surrounding Utah

The Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health allows states to reshape abortion laws. Utah’s trigger law will restrict abortion in most cases. Here’s a look at what laws will look like in surrounding intermountain states.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Federal Judge Denies Trump Administration’s Attempt To Block Release Of Bolton’s Book