Judge Lamberth Denies TRO; But Says Bolton Faces Civil and Criminal Liability
June 20, 2020 (EIRNS)—In a Memorandum and order released Saturday morning, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth denied the U.S. Department of Justice’s request for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction barring publication of John Bolton’s diatribe about Donald Trump, The Room Where It Happened. But, Lamberth said, Bolton clearly violated his non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with the U.S. government, and also released classified information without authorization, subjecting himself to both criminal and civil liability.
In commenting on the controversy on June 18, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made one of the few truthful comments in his entire career, stating, simply, that Bolton was “a traitor.” Pompeo’s statement stands for the proposition that even a player wearing a blindfold and batting at some distance can hit the piñata once in every 100 attempts. Bolton had also clearly played the House of Representatives to increase his book sales, dangling the possibility of an appearance in the impeachment trial in both the House and the Senate for almost a month, while commenting that his story would be told in a book. The House refused to take his bait, and he now claims that they practiced “impeachment malpractice” for not doing so.
Nonetheless, the Democratic Party is wildly enthusiastic about the memoirs of someone they know to be a war criminal and a mass murderer, simply because he is now attacking Donald Trump.
Here is Judge Lamberth’s critical finding:
“This was Bolton’s bet: If he is right and the book does not contain classified information, he keeps the upside mentioned above [publicity and sales]; but if he is wrong, he stands to lose his profits from the book deal, exposes himself to criminal liability, and imperils national security. Bolton was wrong.... The government submitted classified declarations for the court’s ex parte review in camera.... Upon reviewing the classified materials, as well as the declarations on the public docket, the Court is persuaded that Defendant Bolton likely jeopardized national security by disclosing classified information in violation of his nondisclosure agreement obligations.... Defendant Bolton has gambled with the national security of the United States. He has exposed the country to harm and himself to civil and potentially criminal liability.”
Lamberth concluded that a temporary restraining order preventing publication of the book was not the appropriate remedy, since Bolton had lawlessly already put the book into widespread publication, and an injunction would be a toothless remedy. Rather, his opinion suggests, forcing Bolton to forfeit all the profits of his book to the United States, which the Justice Department is also asking for in it