Honored Social Butterfly

Bolton and Trump gear up for book fight

Bolton and Trump gear up for book fight


The opening skirmishes in a battle between President Trump and his former national security adviser John Bolton were being fought on Friday — and there are plenty more to come. 

Bolton’s book, “The Room Where It Happened,” will be published on June 23.


According to marketing material from his publisher, Bolton will allege that Trump’s purported misdeeds regarding Ukraine — the issue that led to his impeachment in December — were replicated “across the full range of his foreign policy.”


The publisher promises that Bolton “documents exactly what those were” and also stresses that the author was “astonished” to see “a president for whom getting reelected was the only thing that mattered, even if it meant endangering or weakening the nation.”


The book seems sure to elicit a counterpunch or two from the president. It would not be the first time Trump has put Bolton in his social media crosshairs.


In January, Trump complained on Twitter: “I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book.”


That came after The New York Times reported that an unpublished manuscript from Bolton alleged that Trump personally said he wanted to freeze congressionally mandated aid to Ukraine until officials in the eastern European country would launch such investigations. 


Trump had previously stressed on Twitter that Bolton had been fired in September.


The Bolton versus Trump contretemps has a complicated moral and ethical contour.


During Trump's impeachment trial, Bolton signaled a willingness to testify if served with a subpoena, and if that subpoena were upheld in court. House Democrats ultimately did not subpoena him, fearing the legal process would drag on too long.


To his allies, Bolton raised legitimate questions. To his critics, he engaged in a stalling tactic intended to avoid testimony — and save important revelations for his book.


Mark Zaid, a Washington, D.C., attorney who specializes in national security cases and has represented clients from both parties, was scathing of Bolton’s position — particularly given the gravity of what the book appears set to allege.


“He essentially withheld information that would have been directly relevant to the impeachment inquiry and he did so, ostensibly, for the sole purpose of publishing it in a book. I would characterize that as incredibly disappointing, and it could be perceived as unpatriotic,” Zaid said.


The question of whether to testify, Zaid added, “was a decision that he had the authority to make.”


USA Today reported in February that Bolton had said in a speech to Vanderbilt University that he did not regret failing to testify because it “would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome.” 


Rick Wilson, a GOP strategist in Florida who has authored two books critical of Trump, said that during impeachment Bolton “had a remarkable opportunity to do a service to his country and make it very clear what he witnessed” and instead “chose to do it in his book.”


Wilson, who is also a leading figure in the group of anti-Trump Republicans called The Lincoln Project, added that when it came to Bolton’s overall view of Trump, “I completely believe it. There is no question that John Bolton was a witness to a spectrum of behavior that ranges from criminal to terrifying.”


Spokespeople for the White House and the National Security Council (NSC) did not respond to an email inviting comment Friday.


But virtually no one expects that silence to last. There has already been a prolonged battle over the book manuscript, with the NSC seeking changes purportedly to protect national security. 


A lawyer for Bolton, Chuck Cooper, wrote an op-ed that appeared in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday in which he argued that this amounted to “a transparent attempt to use national security as a pretext to censor Mr. Bolton, in violation of his constitutional right to speak on matters of the utmost public import.”


Some GOP insiders express distaste for Bolton’s endeavor and feel some semblance of sympathy for Trump’s position. 


“I don’t like when people take advantage of a situation for monetary gain or out of vindictiveness,” said a veteran of a previous Republican administration who asked to remain anonymous. “Very few people leave office and write glowing books about their service because, if you call up a publisher, the first thing they say is, ‘What can you tell us that we don’t know and is really bad?’”


The book is the latest twist in a tumultuous career for Bolton, who was a deeply controversial figure during former President George W. Bush’s administration.


Bolton, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was one of the most vigorous proponents of the Iraq War. He continues to advocate hawkish positions on Iran, North Korea and other foreign policy hot spots.


Bolton’s willingness to be critical of Trump has won him some unexpected admirers and alienated plenty of former allies within the GOP.


Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) told The New York Times in January that it had become “a totally upside-down world” when it came to perceptions of Bolton. 


Bolton’s book also comes at a time when Trump has faced criticism from other figures in the foreign policy or military establishment, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Secretary of Defense James Mattis


But some observers are skeptical that Bolton’s book will have real political impact, barring some truly explosive and well-documented revelation.


Sol Wisenberg, an attorney who served as deputy independent counsel under Kenneth Starr during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, said that he believed Bolton was already seen as very political and therefore did not carry the same bipartisan heft as someone such as Mattis. 


“He is more like the numerous people who have fallen out of Trump’s favor,” Wisenberg said of Bolton. “I’m somewhat interested in what he has to say. I just don’t know if it makes all that much of a difference.”


Wilson said there was at least one thing that Bolton could look forward to — the near-inevitable tweets from the president that might savage the book but would also, undoubtedly, help publicize it. 


“John should wake up every day, and hope Donald Trump is Donald Trump that day,” he said.


Bolton and Trump gear up for book fight 

"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in DC, 1/27/2017
Honored Social Butterfly

Trump should know he is going to lose as soon as Bolton asks the JD to list the classified information in his book.  Another thought is that Bolton is splitting the royalties with Trump and this is a ploy to increase interest in the book. 

Honored Social Butterfly

Trump administration sues Bolton over book dispute


The Trump administration asked a federal judge on Tuesday to order former national security adviser John Bolton to stop the publication of his upcoming book on his White House tenure, arguing in a lawsuit that Bolton had breached non-disclosure agreements and was risking national security by exposing classified information.


The suit, filed in Washington, DC, federal court, alleges that Bolton's 500-plus page manuscript was "rife with classified information," and prosecutors say that Bolton backed out of an ongoing White House vetting process for the book that he'd been obligated to do as a result of the agreements.
"(Bolton) struck a bargain with the United States as a condition of his employment in one of the most sensitive and important national security positions in the United States Government and now wants to renege on that bargain by unilaterally deciding that the prepublication review process is complete and deciding for himself whether classified information should be made public," prosecutors write.
The lawsuit marks the most significant escalation of a months-long battle between the White House and Bolton over the release of the book, which is billed as an insider's rebuke of President Donald Trump's foreign policy. The legal approach in the case is one of the more extreme attempts in recent years to stop a former Trump adviser from recounting his experience, and the administration's longshot attempt to stop the book's publication raises major First Amendment implications.
Bolton's book has already shipped to warehouses ahead of its scheduled release. He has taped an interview with ABC slated to air Sunday. And a source close to him says he is intent on publishing the book as scheduled Tuesday, meaning he expects to deal with any ramifications from the administration in the aftermath, not before.
Bolton's attorney, Chuck Cooper, told CNN they "are reviewing the Government's complaint, and will respond in due course."
Bolton's publisher, Simon & Schuster, said in a statement Tuesday that the lawsuit "is nothing more than the latest in a long running series of efforts by the Administration to quash publication of a book it deems unflattering to the President."
"Ambassador Bolton has worked in full cooperation with the NSC in its pre-publication review to address its concerns and Simon & Schuster fully supports his First Amendment right to tell the story of his time in the White House to the American public," the statement said.
In a letter sent to the NSC's legal adviser last week, Cooper accused the White House of seeking to block the book for "purely political reasons," adding that "as a practical matter, (it) comes too late."
An exhaustive back-and-forth between Bolton, his lawyer and the White House over the prepublication review process is detailed in the suit. Bolton, who left the White House in September, submitted his original draft late last year to the White House for the vetting process, and was told shortly after by a senior NSC official that it contained significant amounts of classified information, including material designated as top secret.
After several in-person meetings and rounds of edits culminating in late April, Bolton appeared to have cleared the prepublication review. Ellen Knight, the official who reviewed the book, had determined that the latest version of the manuscript no longer contained classified information, the lawsuit says.
But less than a week later, another round of reviews had begun in the White House, this time conducted by Michael Ellis, the NSC's senior director for intelligence. That review came at the request of Robert O'Brien, Bolton's successor as national security adviser, according to the lawsuit.
O'Brien "was concerned that the manuscript still appeared to contain classified information, in part because the same Administration that the Author served is still in office and that the manuscript described sensitive information about ongoing foreign policy issues," the lawsuit says.
Ellis completed his review on June 9 and found that there were still instances of classified information in the book -- as news reports described Bolton's intention to move forward with the book's publication on June 23, even without White House approval.
In a letter sent to Bolton's lawyer on Thursday, the NSC legal adviser wrote that "the manuscript still contains classified information, because, among other things, it includes information that he himself classified and designated for declassification only after the lapse of twenty-five years."
Trump has been increasingly irritated by the notion that his former national security adviser will publish a tell-all book, multiple sources said. He told staff he wanted to halt its publication and mused privately about suing him to stop it, a tactic the President has relied on before when former officials or people close to him have written books he thinks will be unfavorable. He has a history of filing lawsuits he later drops.
On Monday, Trump wrongly asserted that any conversations with him are classified and hinted at possible legal action.
"They're in court or they'll soon be in court," Trump said. "But he understands he did not complete a process or anywhere near complete a process."
Trump said Bolton would have "criminal problems" if the book was published as is. The lawsuit filed Tuesday is a civil suit, and carries no criminal penalties. Initially, Attorney General William Barr did not confirm that his department was preparing a lawsuit but said the administration was focused on getting Bolton to complete the clearance process for publishing books.
"People who come to work in the government and have access to sensitive information generally sign an agreement that says when they leave government, if they write something that draws on or might reflect some of the information they've head access to, they have to go through a clearance process before they can publish the book," Barr said on Monday. "We don't think Bolton has gone through that process, hasn't completed that process."
In addition to the delayed publication, the administration is asking the court to order Bolton's publisher to "retrieve and dispose" of any copies of the book that have already been disseminated. They also ask for any money the book earns from its sales -- or the sale of movie rights from it -- in the event that it is published without a completed prepublication review.
In a statement, the American Civil Liberties Union compared the suit to the Nixon administration's failed attempt to block newspapers' publication of the Pentagon Papers, which detailed a secret history of the Vietnam War.
"A half-century ago the Supreme Court rejected a similar attempt by the Nixon administration to block the publication of the Pentagon Papers, and since then it has been firmly established that prior restraints on publication are unconstitutional and un-American," the ACLU said.
Early revelations from the book have already made waves in Washington.
In January, as Congress debated articles of impeachment over Trump's dealings with the leader of Ukraine, leaked portions of the manuscript described how the President had directly tied a freeze of US military aid to the country with a request for Ukraine to announce investigations into Trump's political rivals in a conversation with Bolton. The account, which appeared in the New York Times attributed to multiple people's descriptions of the book draft, undermined a key pillar of the President's impeachment defense.
At the time, Cooper, Bolton's attorney, claimed that the information had been improperly disclosed by people uninvolved with the then-ongoing review process.

"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in DC, 1/27/2017
0 Kudos
Honored Social Butterfly

I won't spend a cent on Bolton's book, but I sure hope he keeps pounding on the Fascist in the White House !

Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Honored Social Butterfly

me either. Not a fan of Bolton either, but he will pound away until Trumps Attorneys and /or , AG, intercede to try to shut him up!!!

Honored Social Butterfly

Perhaps we should buy one copy and post here some of the juicy pages and have them read free for  all to see.

no name
Honored Social Butterfly

Trump says he wants to stop Boltons book because it contains "classified info." Not good enough! So predictably Trump told his DOJ stooge to sue to stop the publication. What Trump is REALLY afraid of is other foreign policy "violations"  committed by Trump, Bolton alluded to the other day which would be coming out in the book.


Trump sicks his DOJ on Bolton. 

Honored Social Butterfly

I want to read the book, but I'm not paying for it.  Bolton is vile himself.  Maybe my library will open up again......who even knows anymore? 😞

Honored Social Butterfly

its already ugly. Bolton says the ONLY thing Donald cares about is getting elected again, and that's it. It shows.
Honored Social Butterfly

A couple of scenarios may be at work here:

Where there is smoke, there is fire...trump may actually be afraid of Bolton’s book, if there are full disclosures about trump’s actions, which Bolton witnessed. Which would really expose trump’s lies. 

Or, there is nothing but fluff in the book, trump is helping Bolton to promote it, and will receive a cut of the sales. 


I’m hoping for the former, but I don’t trust trump or anyone who has served in his administration. 

Honored Social Butterfly

I completely and totally refuse to buy a book from and individual that didn't have the stones. to come forward when this country needed him. He will not make one penny from me. and I don't think I will bother to read it either. How do I know now what is really the truth?

no name
0 Kudos
Honored Social Butterfly

Same as you always have...why change?

"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in DC, 1/27/2017
Honored Social Butterfly

well well well, seems Mr. President is none to pleased with Bolton. What is he afraid of besides the truth???!!!!


Trump threatens Bolton over new book. 

Honored Social Butterfly

Trump will ask Barr to create a "redacted" version of the book.


Then Trump can use that book to exonerate himself!



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