U.S. Seeks to Seize John Bolton Book Profits Without a Trial

The U.S. government asked a federal judge in Washington to rule in its favor without a trial as it seeks to seize the proceeds from former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s tell-all memoir.

The government said in a court filing on Thursday that Bolton violated nondisclosure agreements when he released his memoir, “The Room Where It Happened,” without completing a pre-publication review to ensure the book didn’t contain classified information. After failing to prevent the book’s publication, the government is now seeking to seize his $2 million advance as well as any royalties he receives.

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,” the government wrote in its filing, seeking summary judgment in the case. “He did not, and has not, received such authorization.”

Bolton has argued that he fulfilled his obligations under two non-disclosure agreements by clearing the book with a senior career government official. While the U.S. never gave Bolton final written clearance to publish the book, he has argued that the government was simply dragging its feet to prevent the book from going out.

In June, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth rejected a last-ditch attempt by the government to block publication on national security grounds. But he slammed Bolton for gambling with national security.

“He has exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability,” the judge wrote in reference to Bolton.

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