Crime Reagan-Appointed Judge Denies John Bolton’s Motion to Dismiss, Puts ‘All’ Book Royalties in Serious Jeopardy
A former NSC official accuses White House aides of hijacking the review process for Bolton's book and making false claims to block its publication
The former official, Ellen Knight, says she was told there was "no path forward" for her at the NSC after she refused to go along with the process.The official, Ellen Knight, previously served as the senior director for records access and information security management at the NSC and oversaw the prepublication review process for Bolton's book. Bolton and the White House are in a protracted legal battle over the release of his book and allegations that it contained classified information.
Senior U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth denied former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s motion to dismiss the government’s lawsuit on Thursday. The Ronald Reagan-appointed judge reasoned that the government persuasively argued that Bolton may have breached “nondisclosure obligations” by publishing the tell-all book The Room Where It Happened.
Lamberth, whothat the White House politicized the prepublication review process, said that the nondisclosure agreements Bolton signed imposed obligations not to skirt the prepublication review process and not to disclose classified information. The judge ruled that the Department of Justice “plausibly pleads” that Bolton breached those obligations:
Trump team essentially abused John Bolton’s rights, according to new document
The Trump White House again looks terrible, and former National Security Advisor John Bolton looks significantly better, after the delivery of a remarkably informative letter from the experienced senior official who reviewed Bolton’s recent book. © Provided by Washington Examiner On behalf of Ellen Knight, the former Senior Director for Records Access and Information Security Management at the National Security Council, her attorney Kenneth Wainstein sent the 18-page letter to lawyers for Bolton and for the Justice Department, which has threatened Bolton with criminal prosecution for allegedly publishing classified in
As a condition of becoming National Security Advisor to President Trump, John Bolton signed three nondisclosure agreements with the United States. Those agreements guard classified information, including classified information about intelligence sources and methods known as sensitive compartmented information (SCI). The United States alleges that Bolton breached both his fiduciary obligations to the government and his contractual duties by (a) publishing his memoir before completing prepublication review and (b) by disclosing classified information. To succeed on those claims, the government must show that Bolton was either obligated to complete prepublication review or to not disclose classified information. Because the agreements imposed both obligations and because the government plausibly pleads that Bolton breached those obligations, the Court will deny Bolton’s pending motion  to dismiss.
Federal judge sees no bombshell in new letter in Bolton case
The judge seemed unimpressed by new interference claims from a key player who reviewed the manuscript of the former national security adviser’s tell-all book.Ellen Knight, the former National Security Council official who was assigned to locate and weed out any classified information in Bolton’s manuscript for “The Room Where it Happened,” alleges that the White House took unprecedented and irregular steps in an apparent bid to suppress Bolton’s memoir, which was highly unflattering toward President Donald Trump.
Judge Lamberth said he would follow precedent () when “declining to reach” the issue of whether Bolton breached his fiduciary duty. Instead, the judge focused squarely on whether the DOJ sufficiently pleaded that Bolton breached his contractual obligations, noting that at this stage of the litigation that the court “must accept as true all well-pleaded facts in a complaint when resolving a motion to dismiss.”
The judge kept it pretty simple: “In sum, the government sufficiently alleges that Bolton breached his nondisclosure obligations.” What about Bolton’s “four arguments to the contrary”?
“None are convincing,” the judge said.
Lamberth declined to dismiss the case and declined to dismiss the government’s attempt to seize Bolton’s book royalties. National security lawyer Mark Zaid, who has long said tha,” reiterated on Thursday that Bolton is “in a world of legal trouble & likely to have constructive trust imposed on him (i.e., taking all royalties).”
Judge appears skeptical of Bolton's defense of publishing book without White House approval
A federal judge on Thursday appeared skeptical of former national security adviser John Bolton's defense against the Trump administration's allegations that he published his new memoir without proper clearance from officials reviewing it for classified information.Judge Royce Lamberth heard arguments from both sides during a hearing on Thursday, a day after an official said in a court filing that the White House's national security leadersJudge Royce Lamberth heard arguments from both sides during a hearing on Thursday, a day after an official said in a court filing that the White House's national security leaders took an "unprecedented" level of interest in the customary prepublication review of Bolton's bo
2/Court has placed everyone on notice who face future prepub situations that SCI agreements will be construed broadly & w/great deference to USGOVT to protect national security.
Meaning, if you had SCI access, you best submit your writing for prepub review.
— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq)
The civil case will move
Read the memorandum opinion below:
[Image via Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images]
Justice Department launches criminal investigation of John Bolton book .
Bolton, a former top Trump aide, "emphatically rejects" claims that he divulged classified information, his lawyer said.The decision to launch a criminal investigation was expected. After failing to stop the book's publication over the summer, senior Justice Department officials said they would likely consider criminal charges.