DOJ Launches Criminal Investigation Into Bolton for Publishing Classified Info

'Unauthorized disclosure of these types of classified information could reveal, in some instances, the limits and, in some instances, the capabilities of U.S. intelligence collection...'

The Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into whether former national security adviser John Bolton illegally released classified information in his recent memoir.

The DOJ convened a grand jury last week and subpoenaed Bolton’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, for records related to the writing of the tell-all, The Room Where it Happened, according to the New York Times.

The White House raised the alarm about Bolton’s book earlier this year, arguing that the memoir could severely affect critical national security issues.

The courts sided with Bolton, who has continued to deny any wrongdoing.

“We are aware of reports that grand jury subpoenas have been issued seeking information concerning the publication of Ambassador Bolton‘s recent book,” Charles Cooper, Bolton’s attorney, said in a statement.

“Ambassador Bolton emphatically rejects any claim that he acted improperly, let alone criminally, in connection with the publication of his book, and he will cooperate fully, as he has throughout, with any official inquiry into his conduct.”

The DOJ opened this criminal investigation at the behest of Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, according to the Times.

Ratcliffe had joined the White House’s original efforts to stop the book’s publication, warning that the information Bolton planned to share could give the U.S.’s foreign adversaries an unwelcome advantage.

“The type of classified information in these passages is the type of information that foreign adversaries of the United States seek to obtain, at great cost, through covert intelligence,” Ratcliffe wrote in his signed declaration to the courts.

“Unauthorized disclosure of these types of classified information could reveal, in some instances, the limits and, in some instances, the capabilities of U.S. intelligence collection and would cause irreparable damage to national security.”

President Donald Trump has also blasted Bolton for using classified intel to turn a profit.


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