Politics

Trump Administration Asks Judge to Seize Boltons $2 Million Book Advance

The Trump administration has asked a federal judge in Washington to order the seizure of former National Security Advisor John Boltons $2 million advance plus royalties from his book deal on grounds of violation of clearance procedures.

According to a court filing submitted on July 30 and obtained by Bloomberg, the government alleges Bolton broke nondisclosure agreements by proceeding to publish his memoir without successfully completing a pre-publication review of his book to make sure it didnt contain classified information.

While Bolton submitted a manuscript of his memoir, “The Room Where It Happened,” for review by administration officials, he did not receive written clearance to publish, the government said in the filing, as cited by Bloomberg. The report said Bolton was told on several occasions that publishing the book without such authorization would be against the law.

Boltons attorney, Chuck Cooper, wrote in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that Bolton cleared his book with Ellen Knight, the National Security Councils senior director for pre-publication review of materials written by NSC personnel. Cooper detailed some of the interactions between Knight and Bolton and said the books review underwent several “laborious” iterations that ended with what he understood to be a verbal approval but that no formal letter of clearance was provided.

“We did hear from the White House on June 8. John A. Eisenberg, the presidents deputy counsel for national security, asserted in a letter that Mr. Boltons manuscript contains classified information and that publishing the book would violate his nondisclosure agreements,” Cooper wrote, adding that he viewed the White House communications as a “transparent attempt to use national security as a pretext to censor” Bolton.

John Bolton talks
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton gestures while speakings at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, on Sept. 30, 2019. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)

In a June interview on ABC, Bolton said his book does not contain classified content and that he submitted his manuscript for pre-publication clearance only “out of an abundance of caution.”

“When I wrote the book, to begin with, I was very conscious to avoid putting in anything that I thought could be deemed classifiable, and I didnt think I had to put the book through the pre-publication clearance process for that reason,” Bolton said. “But we did out of an abundance of caution and then went through four arduous months of making sure there was nothing classified and I believe that strongly today.”

Trump, who called the books publication “totally inappropriate,” suggested Bolton could face criminal liability for publishing his memoir, saying, “I will consider every conversation with me as president highly classified. So that would mean that if he wrote a book Read More From Source

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