Donald Trump Declares Victory as Judge Denies Request to Block John Bolton Book

US National Security Advisor John Bolton listens as US President Donald Trump, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi begin a trilateral during the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump declared victory over John Bolton, his former national security adviser, despite a judge denying a request from his administration to block Bolton’s book from publication.

The Trump administration filed a court injunction demanding that the book not be published, as it included information they deemed classified.

U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth sternly criticized Bolton’s reckless behavior with his memoir but acknowledged that it was too late to stop the book from publication.

“Defendant Bolton has gambled with the national security of the United States,” Lamberth wrote in his court memorandum. “He has exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability.”

The judge argued that since the book had already been printed, shipped, and obtained by media outlets, the court would not order the dramatic step of seizing and destroying all copies of the memoir.

“By the looks of it, the horse is not just out of the barn — it is out of the country,” he wrote.

The judge argued that a single person could publish the entire book on the Internet, even if the court tried to block the publication of the memoir.

“With hundreds of thousands of copies around the globe — many in newsrooms — the damage is done,” he wrote. “There is no restoring the status quo.

Lamberth said that Bolton’s rush to publication could expose himself to further government lawsuits if the book did include classified information.

“This was Bolton’s bet: If he is right and the book does not contain classified information, he keeps the upside mentioned above; but if he is wrong, he stands to lose his profits from the book deal, exposes himself to criminal liability, and imperils national security,” he wrote. “Bolton was wrong.”

Trump indicated that Lamberth’s rebuke of Bolton was sufficient to declare victory, noting that “strong and powerful statements and rulings” were made about his attempt to fight the classification process with the administration.

“Bolton broke the law and has been called out and rebuked for so doing, with a really big price to pay,” Trump wrote. “He likes dropping bombs on people and killing them. Now he will have bombs dropped on him!”

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