The U.S. government has asked a federal judge in Washington to seize the $2 million book advance and any royalties paid to former Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton, who published a tell-all memoir about the Trump administration allegedly without clearing it first with the government for classified material.
The government said in a court filing Thursday that Bolton violated nondisclosure agreements when he released his memoir, The Room Where It Happened, without finishing a National Security Council (NSC) review process to make sure the book did not contain any classified material that could put U.S. national security at risk, according to Bloomberg.
The federal government initially sought to prevent the book’s publish in June, but failed since advance copies had already been sent out to numerous media outlets. However, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth wrote in his ruling about Bolton, “He has exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability.”
The government wrote in this week’s filing that Bolton was “repeatedly told that he could not publish the book absent written authorization, both before and after he submitted the manuscript for prepublication review,” but published his book anyway without that authorization.
Bolton has alleged that he did not received that written authorization and that he cleared his book with a senior NSC official.
Bolton has stoked outrage on the left for not testifying in the House impeachment hearing with what he knew about the administration’s handling of Ukraine, but also on the right for appearing to cash in on his controversial tenure in the Trump administration.