Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into Bolton's book

16 Septembre, 2020, 03:57 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Trump tell-all books have White House on the defensive

Federal prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into the publication of former National Security Adviser John Bolton's book, notching up the pressure on a critic of and former insider in the Trump administration.

The New York Times, also citing anonymous sources, reported that lawyers for the National Security Council and the Justice Department debated whether opening the investigation would be viewed as a political act with just seven weeks remaining before Trump faces former Vice President Joe Biden on November 3 national polls.

"We are aware of reports that grand jury subpoenas have been issued seeking information concerning the publication of Ambassador Bolton's recent book", Bolton's attorney, Charles Cooper, said in a statement.

The subpoenas reportedly ask for all communications the companies had with Bolton as he published his book "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir". Trump has torn into the book (and Bolton himself) ever since its publication was announced, denouncing his former official as a "sick puppy" and dismissing the "scandals" detailed in the memoir as "a compilation of lies and made-up stories, all meant to make me look bad".

The feds accused Bolton of breaking the deal and then 'unilaterally deciding that the prepublication review process is complete and deciding for himself whether classified information should be made public'.

"Defendant Bolton has gambled with the national security of the United States". The subpoenas issued by a grand jury indicate officials are probing evidence that would enable them to bring criminal charges in addition to the civil suit, though prosecutions related to the mishandling of classified information are exceedingly rare.

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The unlikely liberal champion has kept up his attacks on the president since the book's release, appearing on CNN on Monday to deride Trump as a "useful idiot" in his geopolitical dealings with Russia, China, and North Korea.

"In fact, the NSC has determined that information in the manuscript is classified at the Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret levels", department attorneys said in a June court filing.

In the book, Mr. Bolton delivered a highly unflattering account of his 17 months working in the Trump administration.

Even though Mr. Bolton did not receive a final approval letter from the White House, he told Simon & Schuster to publish anyway. The president has claimed that Bolton "broke the law" and "should be in jail" for "disseminating, for profit, highly Classified information".

At the time of publication, President Trump made it clear that he wanted his former aide prosecuted, describing him "grossly incompetent" and "a liar". Others noted that a federal judge this summer said that Mr. Bolton may have broken the law, and that the case had merit.

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