Judge: Bolton can publish book despite efforts to block it

WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled Saturday that former national security adviser John Bolton can move forward in publishing his tell-all book despite efforts by the Trump administration to block the release because of concerns that classified information could be exposed.

The decision from U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth is a victory for Bolton in a court case that involved core First Amendment and national security concerns. But the judge also made clear his concerns that Bolton had “gambled with the national security of the United States” by opting out of a prepublication review process meant to prevent government officials from spilling classified secrets in memoirs they publish.

The ruling clears the path for a broader election-year readership and distribution of a memoir, due out Tuesday, that paints an unflattering portrait of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy decision-making during the turbulent year-and-a-half that Bolton spent in the White House.

Nonethless, Lamberth frowned upon the way Bolton went about publishing the book. Bolton took it “upon himself to publish his book without securing final approval from national intelligence authorities” and perhaps caused irreparable harm to national security, Lamberth said.

But with 200,000 copies already distributed to booksellers across the country, attempting to block its release would be futile, the judge wrote.

“A single dedicated individual with a book in hand could publish its contents far and wide from his local coffee shop,” Lamberth wrote. “With hundreds of thousands of copies around the globe — many in newsrooms — the damage is done. There is no restoring the status quo.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Up to 60,000 Alberta beehives could perish

“A perfect storm” of obstacles is threatening thousands of Alberta beehives. “It’s… Continue reading

57 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Friday

Central zone remains at three active cases

Frontline rural police will benefit from new support positions say municipal representatives

Province says of 43 new RCMP officers on the job, 18 will provide support and specialized services

China finds energy expertise in central Alberta

Red Deer County companies Icon Energy Services and C-Sense Consulting find success in China

Man and woman accused of breaking into rural lease site arrested

Pair arrested after vehicle got stuck in field near Huxley

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Saskatchewan to learn lesson after disposing expired N-95 masks: health minister

Saskatchewan to learn lesson after disposing expired N-95 masks: health minister

Premier promises to keep a close watch on people in vehicles with U.S. plates

Premier promises to keep a close watch on people in vehicles with U.S. plates

Tears, prayer and a white hat as Brazilian cowboy finishes Alaska-Calgary trek

Tears, prayer and a white hat as Brazilian cowboy finishes Alaska-Calgary trek

WE group to stop running federal volunteer program, return funds already paid

WE group to stop running federal volunteer program, return funds already paid

Ethics watchdog to examine Trudeau over WE Charity contract, since reversed

Ethics watchdog to examine Trudeau over WE Charity contract, since reversed

Canada’s long-term care system failed elders, before and during COVID-19: report

Canada’s long-term care system failed elders, before and during COVID-19: report

Maine, Vermont next in fight over aid to religious schools

Maine, Vermont next in fight over aid to religious schools

It’s play ball for Red Deer Legends and Twilight Baseball League

In a normal year, Blair Hanna and the Red Deer Legends would… Continue reading

Most Read