WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A book by former White House national security adviser John Bolton will be published June 23 despite attempts by White House lawyers to block release of the volume describing his time as a top aide to President Donald Trump, Bolton’s lawyer wrote on Wednesday.
Bolton was abruptly fired by Trump last Sept. 10 amid disagreements over how to handle foreign policy challenges such as North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan and Russia.
The hawkish conservative said he had information about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine last summer, when Democrats accused the president of trying to get Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Democrat Joe Biden.
The book had to go through a clearance process by White House lawyers. Bolton lawyer Charles Cooper, in an opinion article in the Wall Street Journal, said his client had gone through multiple rewrites and edits as demanded by the White House to make sure no classified information was revealed and thought he had final clearance in May but never got a letter confirming it.
Cooper said that on June 8, John Eisenberg, the president’s deputy counsel for national security, replied in a letter that Bolton’s manuscript “contains classified information and that publishing the book would violate his nondisclosure agreements.”
“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. This attempt will not succeed, and Mr. Bolton’s book will be published June 23,” he said.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by David Gregorio)