June 20, 2020

The ruling is good news for America but John Bolton may well lose that $2 million dollars he sacrificed national security for.

From The New York Times:

A federal judge on Saturday ruled that John R. Bolton, President Trump’s former national security adviser, can go forward with the publication of his memoir, rejecting the administration’s request for an order that he try to pull the book back and saying it was too late for such an order to succeed.

“With hundreds of thousands of copies around the globe — many in newsrooms — the damage is done. There is no restoring the status quo,” wrote Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia.

But in a 10-page opinion, Judge Lamberth also suggested that Mr. Bolton may be in serious jeopardy of forfeiting his $2 million advance, as the Justice Department has separately requested — and that he could be prosecuted for allowing the book to be published before receiving final notice that a prepublication review process to ensure it had no classified information was complete.

“Bolton has gambled with the national security of the United States,” Judge Lamberth wrote. “He has exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability. But these facts do not control the motion before the court. The government has failed to establish that an injunction will prevent irreparable harm.”

Bolton losing that $2 million payday for throwing national security under the bus or, more to the point, under the book, would be poetic justice as far as I'm concerned. Bolton remained silent as he witnessed the abuses he now relays and kept them to himself during the impeachment process. Because he wanted to sell books. I would be happy to see his greed go unrewarded while most of the rest of us get the information anyway.

But if you're someone with a security clearance or hope to get a security clearance, The Washington Post has this warning:

It sounds Orwellian, but believe it or not, if you have — or expect to need — a security clearance, you could jeopardize that by reading Bolton’s book (or anything else that is claimed by the government to be classified). Back when WikiLeaks was new and the intelligence community was coming to grips with the fact that news articles seemed to be running every other day based on leaked national security information, the government decided not only to crack down on leakers, but to use the largely unregulated security clearance authority at its disposal to intimidate government employees and contractors into not even reading about the leaks.

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