Washington D.C. [USA], June 18 (ANI): The US Justice Department on Wednesday sought an emergency order from a judge blocking the publication of former national security adviser John Bolton's forthcoming White House memoir.
The move is being viewed as an escalation of a legal battle against the former Trump aide after several explosive details from his book spilled out into public view, The Washington Post reported.
The move came after the Trump administration filed a civil suit against Bolton on Tuesday, targeting the proceeds of the book and asking a court to order him to delay its scheduled release on June 23. Within less than 24 hours, the Wall Street Journal published an excerpt of the memoir, while lengthy accounts were published by other American media outlets.
In a statement, Bolton's publisher called the latest move by the Trump administration "a frivolous, politically motivated exercise in futility.
Hundreds of thousands of copies of John Bolton's 'The Room Where It Happened' have already been distributed around the country. The injunction as requested by the government would accomplish nothing," the publisher added.
The Justice Department is now investigating to see whether any laws regarding the handling of classified information were broken in the course of Bolton writing the book, people familiar with the matter were quoted as saying by the Post.
On Monday, Trump, speaking at an event with Attorney General William P. Barr, told reporters that Bolton could face "criminal problems" if his book is released.
"I will consider every conversation with me as president highly classified," the president said. Bolton's memoir, "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir," an account of his 19 months as President Trump's top national security official, offers a withering portrait of Trump as an erratic and ignorant leader who constantly places his own personal whims above the national interest, the media reported further.
However, in a 37-page filing Wednesday, the Justice Department wrote, "Disclosure of the manuscript will damage the national security of the United States, adding, "To be clear: Defendant's manuscript still contains classified information, as confirmed by some of the Government's most senior national-security and intelligence officials." (ANI)