The Justice Department dropped its lawsuit against Donald Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton for the publication of his book last year.
The book, The room where it happened It was an unflattering portrait of Trump as an impulsive and uninformed president who was out of his element when dealing with other world leaders.
Bolton’s attorney, Charles Cooper, said in a statement that the Justice Department also ended grand jury criminal proceedings over whether Bolton disclosed classified information.
“We argued from the outset that no action was justifiable, because it was initiated only as a result of President Trump’s politically motivated order to prevent the publication of the ambassador’s book before the 2020 election,” Cooper said.
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Cooper and attorneys for the Justice Department filed a stipulation in federal court Wednesday dismissing the lawsuit.
The Trump administration filed a lawsuit to block publication of the book last year, even though preliminary copies had been widely distributed and Bolton had sat down to speak with ABC News for an hour-long special.
A judge refused to block the publication of the book, but concluded that Bolton did not complete the government’s pre-publication review process. The government continued its litigation and a ruling in its favor could have led to the collection of royalties for books.
However, in the statement, Cooper noted that Ellen Knight, an official in charge of the NSC’s pre-release review process, concluded that it did not contain classified information. His lawyer issued a letter on his behalf detailing how “a deliberately apolitical process had been commanded by persons appointed by politicians for an apparently political purpose.” Bolton had sought to discover whether Trump and White House officials intentionally tried to delay the publication of the book and influence decisions about what information was classified.
“By ending these proceedings without in any way penalizing Ambassador Bolton or limiting his earnings from the book, the Justice Department has tacitly acknowledged that President Trump and White House officials acted illegitimately,” Cooper said.