A federal judge ruled on Saturday morning that former National Security Adviser John Bolton cannot be stopped from publishing his book, “The Room Where It Happened,” on June 23.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that “for reasons that hardly need to be stated, the Court will not order a nationwide seizure and destruction of a political memoir,” citing the fact that Bolton has already distributed copies across the nation ahead of the publication date.
Democrats are celebrating the “victory” for Trump’s disgruntled former aide, but Lamberth warned that Bolton is not safe from further legal action.
The Trump administration has been attempting to block the release of Bolton’s memoir for months, due to concerns that the information contained within the book could jeopardize national security.
“Defendant Bolton has gambled with the national security of the United States,” Lamberth wrote in the ruling. “He has exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability. But these facts do not control the motion before the Court. The government has failed to establish that an injunction will prevent irreparable harm.”
Bolton has refused to cooperate with the White House and violates his non-disclosure agreement by pushing forward with the release of the book. In response, the Trump administration has filed a civil suit against Bolton that is still working its way through the court.
Lamberth warned that though he cannot issue an injunction against Bolton at this time because “the horse is out of the barn,” Bolton is playing a dangerous game.
“This was Bolton’s bet: If he is right and the book does not contain classified information, he keeps the upside mentioned above,” said Lamberth. “But if he is wrong, he stands to lose his profits from the book deal, exposes himself to criminal liability, and imperils national security. Bolton was wrong.”