Secrecy & Leaks

Court Allows Justice Department Lawsuit Against Bolton to Proceed

By Tia Sewell
Thursday, October 1, 2020, 4:03 PM

Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today denied former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s request to dismiss the government lawsuit filed against him regarding the publication of his book, “The Room Where it Happened.” The government claims that Bolton’s memoir, which details his time serving as national security adviser in the Trump Administration, contains classified information. The ruling will allow the Justice Department to proceed with its lawsuit against Bolton.

In June, Judge Lamberth denied the government’s motion for a temporary restraining order to block distribution of Bolton’s book, finding that the “grave national security concerns” raised by the memoir would not be ameliorated by a last-minute injunction on its release.

The Justice Department alleges that Bolton breached his fiduciary obligations to the government and contractual duties by publishing his memoir before the review process was complete, and in doing so, disclosing classified information to the public. Today’s ruling established that moving forward, “the government must show that Bolton was either obligated to complete a prepublication review or to not disclose classified information.”

You can read the opinion here and below: