US President, Donald Trump, has threatened that former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, could face criminal prosecution for the contents of his forthcoming book about working for Trump in the White House.
On Monday, ABC News announced that Bolton had recorded a sit-down interview with Martha Raddatz that will air Sunday night and the news network has billed the Sunday night interview as ‘primetime’.
The network also announced that Bolton will discuss some contents in the book and also talk about why he didn’t testify against Trump to congress during the President’s impeachment trial last year.
According to the publisher of the book, Bolton is set to release ‘The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir’ next Tuesday, June 23, which will paint a picture of ”chaos and a president focused exclusively on his own re-election”
ABC news network reports that the White House is expected to file a lawsuit to keep Bolton’s book, in its current form, off stores and book shelves.
According to Trump, Bolton who was fired last year for advising him to go to war with Iran and North Korea, will be disclosing vital National Security information if he releases details of his conversation with Trump in a book.
“Somebody said he went out and wrote a book.” “If he wrote a book”
“I can’t imagine that he can because that’s highly classified information.” Trump said, while sitting with Attorney General Bill Barr, told reporters in response to if he’ll permit the release of the book.
“Even conversations with me, they’re highly classified
“If he wrote a book, and the book gets out, he’s broken the law,” Trump claimed. “I would think he would have criminal problems. I hope so.”
‘I will consider every conversation with me as president highly classified,’
‘So that would mean that if he wrote a book and if the book gets out he’s broken the law.
Trump was noncommittal when asked about the possibility of a lawsuit — he said “they’re in court, or they’ll soon be in court” over the book.
Bill Barr in response said the current goal was to get Bolton to finalize the National Security Council security review process.
‘The thing that is front-and-center right now is trying to get him to complete the process, go through the process and make the necessary deletions of classified information,’ Barr said.
Barr continued to maintain that without the letter, Bolton wasn’t done yet.
‘And we don’t believe Bolton went through that process, hasn’t completed the process and therefore is in violation of that agreement,’ Barr said.
Trump chimed in adding, ‘And that’s a criminal liability.
‘By the way, you’re talking about, you’re not talking about like he’s going to return $3 that he’s made on the book,’ the president continued. ‘By the way, you’re talking about, you’re not talking about like he’s going to return $3 that he’s made on the book.’
‘You know Hillary Clinton, she deleted 33,000 emails. And if we ever found out what those emails said, she’d have a liability. That’s what you have, you have a liability,’ the president continued, referencing his former political rival’s decision to use a private email account during her time serving as secretary of state, which she deleted messages from.
Bolton’s book has already been delayed due to the standard vetting that former and current employees of the National Security Council (NSC) have to undergo in order to determine if their works contain classified information.
Bolton’s lawyer Chuck Cooper said the vetting process was unfair to his client in a June 10 op-Ed to the Wall Street journal.
‘What followed was perhaps the most extensive and intensive prepublication review in NSC history,’ Cooper said.
In a printed press release given to reporters last week, Bolton’s publisher said he had worked to address NSC’s concerns and the ‘final published version of this book reflects those changes.’
Cooper said he had worked with Ellen Knight, the NSC’s senior director for prepublication review of materials written by NSC personnel, to determine what could be removed from the book and by late April she informed Bolton ‘that’s the last edit I really have to provide for you,’
The White House, according to Cooper have since refused to give Bolton a letter saying the book had been cleared and that Bolton hadn’t heard from Knight since May 7.
According to Cooper, on June 8 , John A. Eisenberg, the president’s deputy counsel for national secuirty, reached out to Bolton saying the manuscript contained classified information and publishing the book would violate Bolton’s non-disclosure agreement he signed before the president employed him.
‘This last-minute allegation came after an intensive four-month review, after weeks of silence from the White House, and – as Mr. Eisenberg admits in the letter – after press reports alerted the White House that Mr. Bolton’s book would be published on June 23,’ Cooper argued.
‘This is 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,’ Cooper wrote. ‘This attempt will not succeed, and Mr. Bolton’s book will be published June 23.’