Uh-Oh: John Bolton Is Officially Under DOJ Investigation

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
AP featured image
National security adviser John Bolton listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


Perhaps that book wasn’t such a great idea?

John Bolton is now officially under DOJ investigation for possibly leaking classified information in his recent tell-all publication. The book made news by making several big unsubstantiated claims aimed at hurting President Trump. The media obviously salivated over Bolton because he was targeting the right person, though they once treated him as the root of all evil and a disgusting warmonger. But Trump has a way of rehabilitating anyone’s image.

Now, Bolton may be rethinking whether all those plaudits were worth it.

On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation targeting former national security adviser John R. Bolton for possibly disclosing classified information in his memoir, “The Room Where It Happened.”

In June, after the Trump administration had filed a lawsuit to stop the book’s publication, Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia ruled that Bolton could proceed with the publication of the book, arguing, “With hundreds of thousands of copies around the globe — many in newsrooms — the damage is done. There is no restoring the status quo,” but Lamberth also added, “Bolton has gambled with the national security of the United States. He has exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability. But these facts do not control the motion before the court. The government has failed to establish that an injunction will prevent irreparable harm.”


As the excerpt notes, there were signs of this months ago. The judge in question essentially confirmed that Bolton had broken the law, at least in his opinion, and that he would possibly face the consequences of that down the road. Those consequences are now here with the DOJ breathing down his neck.

Judge Lamberth stated pointedly in his previous opinion that Bolton had put national security at risk. The only reason an injunction was not given was that thousands of copies of the book were already out there. There was no putting the genie back in the bottle at that point. It should be noted that Bolton was never given final approval by the government to publish but that he told his publisher to go ahead anyway.

Unlike a lot of conservatives, I’ve never been much of a John Bolton fan. I’m more in the Tucker Carlson vein when it comes to my opinion of him. I don’t think he’s evil, but I think he’s misguided and is seemingly unable to find a conflict he doesn’t want to engage in. His preferred policy in Syria was a disaster, for example, yet he resigned when Trump wouldn’t dig in deeper and put more American lives at risk. Quips about his mustache and how much he loves his country never did do much for me.


Trump’s instincts were correct in the first place. He never should have hired Bolton, if for no other reason than their policy views were simply incompatible. But that’s the least of Bolton’s worries now. I hope he enjoyed his moment in the sun because things look to be getting decidedly darker for him.

(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)



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