DOJ drops criminal probe, civil lawsuit against John Bolton over Trump book
The Justice Department has closed its criminal investigation into whether former National Security Advisor to President Trump, John Bolton, disclosed classified information in his memoir "The Room Where it Happened," according to a source with first-hand knowledge.
Why It Matters: The move comes a year after the Trump administration tried to silence Bolton by suing him in federal court alleging he broke his contract by failing to complete a classified screening . Prosecutors said they reached an agreement with Bolton to drop the lawsuit on Wednesday.
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What they say "This is a complete justification," Bolton Axios said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. "They just give up."
Background: Bolton, a prolific note-taker, tore up the former president in his memoirs, accusing him of trying to use U.S. foreign policy to help him get re-elected - including withholding military aid to Ukraine for theirs Pressurize government to investigate political rivals.
Bolton goes on to claim that the White House's efforts to prevent the book from being published were due to concerns about what it might reveal about former President Trump.
Trump dismissed the book as "pure fiction" while arguing that Bolton should be prosecuted for disclosing classified information. The former president urged aides and the Justice Department to prevent publication of the book and made allegations of political interference.
A federal judge allowed Bolton to publish the book, but ruled that he was "likely to publish classified information" and "subjecting his country to harm and civil (and potentially criminal) liability". The judge dismissed Bolton's attempt to dismiss the lawsuit in October.
Driving news: The DOJ filing makes it clear that "the parties are prejudiced to dismiss this lawsuit" - meaning the case can never be brought again.
The decision to drop the case means the DOJ will cease efforts to seize Bolton's $ 2 million advance payment and any future proceeds from his book.
Between the lines: National Security Attorney Bradley Moss told Axios that Bolton "rolled the dice and had more luck than he could ever have imagined", noting that "the law was by all means on the government's side".
"President Trump and his allies have no one but themselves to blame for this debacle," added Moss. "Without the apparent political interference in the pre-release review process, it would be more than likely that the current leadership of the DOJ would have continued the civil suit and criminal investigation."
"Now Mr. Bolton is keeping the money on his book advance and avoiding criminal liability."
Timing: The move comes after new revelations of the confiscation of records from journalists and at least two prominent Democratic lawmakers by the Trump-era Department of Justice
The story sparked an immediate backlash among members of Congress and renewed criticism of the politicization of the DOJ under Trump.
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American attorney and diplomat
45th President of the United States
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