John Bolton doesnt have the power to stop the 200,000 copies of his book that have been shipped to booksellers, his attorneys said in the former national security advisers first legal response to a government lawsuit.
“The Government cannot plausibly argue that Ambassador Bolton has power to stop the Amazon delivery trucks in America, unshelve the copies in Europe, commandeer the copies in Canada, and repossess the copies sent to reviewers or in the possession of major newspapers,” Boltons lawyers wrote in a court filing late Thursday.
Simon & Schuster CEO Jonathan Karp said in a court declaration that once Bolton submitted the final version of the manuscript earlier this year, he lost any authority or ability he had to prevent or delay the books publication, Boltons lawyers noted.
The Trump administration on Tuesday sued to try to block Boltons book from being published, arguing it contains classified information and would compromise national security if released.
Boltons high-level position granted him access to some of the most sensitive information that exists in the U.S. government, the U.S. Attorneys Office for Washington said in the suit.
Just hours before a hearing on the matter, Boltons legal team filed a 175-response, claiming the government was trying to exercise power over Boltons First Amendment rights.
The reason the government wants to block the release is actually because the book reveals “embarrassing facts about the Presidents conduct in office,” Boltons attorneys argued (pdf).
Bolton, they said, “diligently and conscientiously attempted to avoid including anything in the book that would reveal classified information,” and over the past four months, National Security Council staff have examined the manuscript, directing Bolton to make a number of revisions.
On April 27, the councils records director told Bolton that there were no more edits, according to the filing.
U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth, who was nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, was set to hear the case.
Many of Boltons most explosive claims have already circulated widely in media outlets after being leaked to reporters.
The claims have received strong pushback from top Trump administration officials.