President Donald Trump’s request to stop the publication of a memoir by his former National Security Adviser has been rejected.
The justice department had attempted to argue that the book by John Bolton had not been properly examined however the Washington DC District Court Judge Royce Lamberth overseeing the case explained that the government had “failed to establish that an injunction would prevent irreparable harm”.
The Room Where It Happened has had hundreds of thousands printed and distributed, and due to go on sale on Tuesday 23rd June 2020.
In the memoir Mr Bolton writes unflatteringly of the president, who responded that the book is “made up of lies and fake stories”.
In the 10-page ruling, Judge Lamberth expressed that Mr Bolton had not engaged with a pre-publication review process and that he “likely jeopardised national security by disclosing classified information in violation of his non-disclosure agreement obligations”.
Despite this the injunction requested by the government was denied.
“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,” the judge wrote. “But in the internet age, even a handful of copies in circulation could irrevocably destroy confidentiality. A single dedicated individual with a book in hand could publish its contents far and wide from his local coffee shop. With hundreds of thousands of copies around the globe – many in newsrooms – the damage is done. There is no restoring the status quo.”
Shortly after the decision, Mr Trump alleged on Twitter that Mr Bolton “broke the law by releasing Classified Information (in massive amounts)”.
“He must pay a very big price for this, as others have before him. This should never to happen again!!!” the president added.
Later, the president called the ruling a “BIG COURT WIN against Bolton”.
Mr Bolton’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, said: “We are grateful that the Court has vindicated the strong First Amendment protections against censorship and prior restraint of publication.”
In The Room Where It Happened, Mr Bolton portrays Mr Trump as an “erratic”, “impulsive” and “stunningly uninformed” leader.