Trump government sues to block ex-aide Bolton's book

[WASHINGTON] The Trump administration filed a lawsuit Tuesday in a bid to prevent publication of former national security advisor John Bolton's book, which is expected to provide a damning insider portrait of the White House.

The suit, filed in federal court in Washington, says Mr Bolton has failed to have the text vetted, meaning his book would be in "clear breach of agreements he signed as a condition of his employment and as a condition of gaining access to highly classified information."

The book, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, is due to hit the shelves on Tuesday next week.

Mr Bolton, a veteran of Washington and a controversial figure for his longtime hawkish views, was a close advisor to President Donald Trump.

He left in September after disagreeing with Mr Trump's diplomatic outreach to adversaries, notably North Korea and Afghanistan's Taleban. Since then the two have become openly hostile and Mr Bolton's book has been touted as a tell-all from the Oval Office.

"This is the book Donald Trump doesn't want you to read," teased publishers Simon and Schuster.

In particular, Mr Bolton alleges that Mr Trump committed a host of impeachable offences beyond pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival, Democrat Joe Biden.

The government answers that Mr Bolton is in breach of basic secrecy rules after refusing to wait for the National Security Council to go through the text, as required.

The NSC found "significant quantities of classified information that it asked Defendant to remove," the court docket said, but the "Defendant apparently became dissatisfied at the pace of NSC's review."

"Without Defendant giving any prior notice to the NSC, press reports revealed that Defendant and his publisher had resolved to release the book on June 23, without completing the pre-publication review process," the docket said.

"Simply put, Defendant struck a bargain with the United States as a condition of his employment in one of the most sensitive and important national security positions in the United States Government and now wants to renege on that bargain."


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