A federal judge has denied a Trump administration request to block former national security adviser John Bolton’s book from being published.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth wrote in an order released Saturday that “while Bolton’s unilateral conduct raises grave national security concerns, the government has not established that an injunction is an appropriate remedy.”
The judge noted that the Justice Department’s push for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction came after the book was printed and shipped across the country ahead of its scheduled release on Tuesday.
Lamberth, who was appointed to the federal district court in Washington, D.C., by former President Reagan, seemed to suggest that he would have granted the injunction had Bolton and his publisher, Simon & Schuster, not already begun distributing the book.
The judge questioned Bolton’s actions in pushing ahead with the book’s publication without receiving written official notice concluding that his manuscript was clear of sensitive or classified information. However, the judge said that it was too late to issue a restraining order that would temporarily halt the release, given that advance copies are already in the hands of journalists and the book’s contents have been widely reported.