The Department of Justice is suing former National Security Adviser John Bolton to prevent the publication of classified information.
On today’s Jay Sekulow Live, we discussed the DOJ’s lawsuit against former National Security Advisor John Bolton. The DOJ is seeking to block the publication of Ambassador John Bolton’s book due to national security issues.
The DOJ’s lawsuit filing said:
This is a civil action by the United States to prevent Defendant John R. Bolton, a former National Security Advisor, from compromising national security by publishing a book containing classified information—in clear breach of agreements he signed as a condition of his employment and as a condition of gaining access to highly classified information and in clear breach of the trust placed within him by the United States Government.
Former National Security Adviser Bolton wants to publish this book on June 23rd and this suit seeks to prevent that. We are not talking about someone writing a book about their experience twenty years after the fact. We’re talking about someone writing a book about being the National Security Adviser and about national security events in a current administration.
My dad, Jay Sekulow, made the following point:
So this is a contemporary report evidently – I have not seen the book – a contemporary account of conversations he had with the President but also a contemporary involvement with what appears to be, at least according to the government, national security information – classified information that cannot be released. Ambassador Bolton has made the determination with his publisher that regardless of that fact, even though it was going through what’s called a pre-review clearance that he was going to go ahead and publish this book on June 23rd whether it was cleared or not. At that point the Department of Justice had no choice but to bring an action to seek the delay of that distribution until the national security information is clarified. I don’t think it’s that complicated of a case. It’s that straight forward.
Now, obviously, anytime you’re dealing with publications and First Amendment activities those are big issues. Here when you’re dealing with national security issues that is the overriding factor. Prior restraints are very hard to get, in other words having something stopped from publication. But the overriding factor here at least appears to be the fact that there’s national security data in here.
ACLJ Senior Counsel Andy Ekonomou gave his analysis when he said:
I’ve read the complaint several times because I wanted to not only get the gist of it but really get into it. The government says in the complaint very clearly, our intent is not to censor the publication or to squelch any First Amendment rights that Ambassador Bolton may have in talking about things but to make sure in a pre-publication review, which is ongoing and which he wants to short circuit, to make sure that top-secret information, sensitive intelligence information that he and maybe only he has gotten is not disseminated to the detriment of the United States. He just decided on his own through his lawyer that it’s just taking too long and forget it, I’m just going to go forward with publication.
He put the government in a corner. It couldn’t do anything else.
The full broadcast is complete with more discussion of the United States v. John R. Bolton by our team.
Watch the full broadcast below.
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