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DOJ opens criminal investigation into John Bolton’s book: Reports

DOJ opens criminal investigation into John Bolton’s book: Reports

The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation surrounding the publication of former National Security Adviser John R. Bolton’s book, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.

A federal grand jury has issued subpoenas as part of a probe into whether the former top Trump administration official mishandled classified documents, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported.

Mr. Bolton’s publisher Simon & Schuster and Javelin, his literary agency, have been subpoenaed for documents, the outlets said. The subpoenas reportedly seek all communications between Mr. Bolton and the two companies.

Mr. Bolton has not been subpoenaed, the Journal reported.

The Times reported that the investigation was opened based on a referral from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe.

A Justice Department spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment. A Simon & Schuster spokesperson also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The book, “The Room Where it Happened,” was released in June after a federal judge denied the Justice Department’s request to block its publication.

But in his 10-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth warned Mr. Bolton that he “has gambled with the national security of the United States” and “exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability” for disclosing national security secrets.

President Trump seized on the judge’s decision in a tweet this summer.

“He turned out to be grossly incompetent, and a liar. See judge’s opinion. CLASSIFIED INFORMATION!!,” Mr. Trump tweeted.

Mr. Bolton’s lawyer criticized the Justice Department’s efforts to silence his client. He called the lawsuit, “the latest in a long-running series of efforts by the administration to quash publication of a book it deems unflattering to the president.”

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Published at Tue, 15 Sep 2020 16:38:20 +0000