“The government has the power to prevent harm to the national security,” Lamberth wrote in a 26-page opinion. “While the government may not prevent Bolton from publishing unclassified materials, it may require him to undergo a reasonable prepublication review process. The . . . agreements are thus consistent with the First Amendment.”
In a statement, lead Bolton attorney Charles J. Cooper said, “The Court’s decision, which we are still studying, means that the case will now move forward to the phase in which the parties will develop and present their evidence to the Court.”
Legal analysts said Lamberth’s opinion underscored that Bolton is in serious legal jeopardy, and made it more difficult for other national security professionals to publish without risk of being sued by the government.
“This is a horrible new precedent,” said Mark S. Zaid, a lawyer who specializes in national security and whistleblower cases. “Before this case
A federal judge on Thursday denied former Trump national security adviser John Bolton’s effort to get the government’s lawsuit over his book dismissed.
That allows the Justice Department to proceed in its effort to seize his profits from the book, “The Room Where it Happened,” a harsh condemnation of the Trump White House and its handling of foreign policy.
Federal District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said the government “alleges sufficient facts to support its claim” that Bolton violated his obligations to get written permission to proceed with publication after the book was reviewed to remove any classified information. The judge found the government has a sufficiently strong case to move on to the next step.
Justice Department lawyers have asked the judge to rule for them on summary judgment, without a trial. The judge said he will rule on that soon.
The government filed its lawsuit in June, arguing that