Trump administration makes emergency request to block release of John Bolton's book

The Justice Department filed a request Wednesday for a emergency injunction and restraining order.

Updated: June 17, 2020 - 9:57pm

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The Justice Department on Wednesday night filed an emergency request asking a court to issue a temporary restraining order blocking the publication of former National Security Adviser John Bolton's upcoming book after excerpts were provided to the news media.

The application alleges that Bolton's book, due for release next week, includes classified material.

Portions of the book have already made it into public view in stories earlier Wednesday in publications like The New York Times.

The president, who typically punches back at his critics, lambasted Bolton during an interview with the Wall Street Journal, calling him a "liar" and saying that “everybody in the White House hated John Bolton.”

The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday published material "adapted" from Bolton's book. The excerpt offered a sharply critical analysis of the president and his motivations, suggesting that Trump's focus on securing reelection dominates his decision-making.

"Trump’s conversations with Xi reflected not only the incoherence in his trade policy but also the confluence in Trump’s mind of his own political interests and U.S. national interests. Trump commingled the personal and the national not just on trade questions but across the whole field of national security," Bolton wrote. "I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my White House tenure that wasn’t driven by re-election calculations." 

Discussing a conversation between the Chinese president and the U.S. president, Bolton alleged that President Trump "turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win. He stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome. I would print Trump’s exact words, but the government’s prepublication review process has decided otherwise," Bolton said.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Twitter described Bolton as, "A misguided hawk on foreign policy, but a weak dove of an author."