The Trump administration is expected to seek an injunction in federal court to block the publication of former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s memoir, a person familiar with the matter said.
The planned lawsuit, which was reported earlier by ABC News, could be filed in the coming days but has not yet been finalized, the person said. Bolton’s memoir is set to be published on June 23.
The White House National Security Council has conducted a months-long pre-publication review of the book for classified material, which has delayed the memoir’s release.
The book, titled “The Room Where It Happened,” is expected to paint an unflattering picture of Donald Trump’s leadership. Bolton writes that the president’s foreign policy decisions were driven by political calculations, according to the publisher Simon & Schuster Inc.
The president’s former top security aide plans to argue that the House Democrats’ impeachment probe could have covered a wide range of Trump’s foreign policy, and not just his effort to pressure Ukraine for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.
Bolton’s team and the White House have frequently butted heads over whether information in the book is classified.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published last week, Bolton attorney Charles Cooper wrote that White House lawyer John Eisenberg penned a June 8 letter asserting the memoir contained classified information and publishing it would “violate his nondisclosure agreements.”
“This last-minute allegation came after an intensive four-month review, after weeks of silence from the White House, and — as Mr. Eisenberg admits in his letter — after press reports alerted the White House that Mr. Bolton’s book would be published on June 23,” Cooper wrote.
The press release from Simon & Schuster said Bolton “worked in cooperation with the National Security Council to incorporate changes to the text that addressed NSC concerns” and that the version to be published “reflects those changes.”
The White House did not comment on the expected lawsuit.
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