News & Politics

Federal Judge Denies Trump Administration Attempt to Block Bolton Book

U.S. National security adviser John Bolton, attends a conference of more than 50 nations that largely support Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. Bolton says the U.S. will target anybody at home or abroad who supports the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with stiff financial sanctions. Bolton spoke a day after the Trump administration announced a new round of sweeping measures aimed at pressuring Maduro from office. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

Saying that John Bolton’s tell-all book on the Trump presidency has already been widely distributed, a federal judge denied a Justice Department suit to block publication of the book.

Quotes from the book have already made sensational headlines in the media and Democrats are salivating over the prospect of a lot more political fodder for the campaign.

But what about classified information Bolton is releasing? Judge Royce Lamberth of the DC District Court believes that the information has already been compromised by the limited release of the book so it doesn’t matter.

Judge Royce Lamberth of the DC District Court wrote in a 10-page decision Saturday morning that the Justice Department’s arguments weren’t enough to stop the book’s release. He cited how the book, which is scheduled to be released Tuesday, had already been widely distributed, and could easily be distributed further on the internet, even if the court said it could not be.

“For reasons that hardly need to be stated, the Court will not order a nationwide seizure and destruction of a political memoir,” Lamberth wrote.

From the Pentagon Papers to this book, courts have always decided the issue of prior restraint in favor of the First Amendment. It was a long-shot effort by DoJ to ban publication of the book, given the history involved.

The judge pointed out that his ruling doesn’t shield Bolton from criminal prosecution.

The judge’s ruling Saturday quickly dispels a long-shot attempt by the Trump administration to stymy the book’s release — an attempt roundly condemned as antithetical to the First Amendment. But Lamberth’s decision also keeps alive major risks for Bolton, such as the administration’s effort to claw back proceeds from the book, including from any movie and TV rights, and other consequences for disclosing classified information.

Lamberth also noted Bolton could still be exposed to criminal liability.

Democrats will make a huge deal of all the out-of-context quotes that will be used to “prove” this or that cockamamie conspiracy theory about Trump. It won’t matter. People have already made up their minds about this president and unless it emerges Trump had someone murdered, it won’t make a significant difference to the electorate.

What might be amusing is watching Democrats and the media gleefully writing stories about the latest “bombshell” revelation and telling us that this will sink Trump. He’s a goner. He can’t win. He’s toast.

Balderdash.

Of course, Bolton couldn’t be more pleased, knowing that he’s about to hit the jackpot. Nagging questions like, “What were you doing working for a guy like this?” and “If your conscience bothered you so much that you wrote this book, where was your conscience when serving?” won’t be asked. He will be feted as a hero, a whistleblower, a guy who “speaks truth to power.”

But is Bolton smart enough to catch the irony? For his entire career, he has been vilified and smeared by most of these same folks. “Warmonger,” “tyrant,” are a couple of descriptions of Bolton that come to mind. In a world turned upside down, whatever side you’re on is the right side.

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