Justice Department seeks emergency order to block publication of Bolton memoir

John Bolton.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Justice Department asked a federal judge Wednesday to order former National Security Adviser John Bolton to stop the publication of his forthcoming memoir, The Room Where It Happened, alleging that "disclosure of the manuscript will damage the national security of the United States."

The book is scheduled for release on June 23, and hundreds of thousands of copies have already been printed and distributed to retailers worldwide. The Justice Department's filing seeks a temporary restraining order and then a preliminary injunction, and asks that Judge Royce C. Lamberth hold a hearing about the case on Friday, The New York Times reports.

Bolton's publisher, Simon & Schuster, called the filing "a frivolously, politically motivated exercise in futility" and said the injunction "as requested by the government would accomplish nothing."

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On Tuesday, the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney's office in Washington filed a lawsuit attempting to block publication of The Room Where it Happened, accusing Bolton of breaching the contract he signed when hired as national security adviser. In a declaration attached to Wednesday's lawsuit, National Security Council official Michael Ellis said he looked at Bolton's manuscript and found it contained top secret classified information.

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com. Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.