John Bolton's White House memoir has been printed and shipped to warehouses ahead of a scheduled June 23 release date—but the Trump administration doesn't want it to see the light of day. The administration filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to block the release of The Room Where It Happened, saying it contains classified information, the New York Times reports. The Justice Department asked a federal court to order Bolton to "instruct or request" publisher Simon and Schuster to delay publication until the national security review process is completed, and to "retrieve and dispose" of the copies already printed. Bolton submitted the book for security review in January and has pushed back the publication date several times since.
The book from the former national security adviser "shows a president addicted to chaos, who embraced our enemies and spurned our friends, and was deeply suspicious of his own government," according to Simon and Schuster. President Trump warned Monday that Bolton could have a "criminal problem" if he goes ahead with the release next week. Bolton's lawyer, Charles Cooper, says efforts to block publication are a "transparent attempt to use national security as a pretext to censor Mr. Bolton," the Guardian reports. According to the lawsuit, Ellen Knight, the official conducting the review, completed it in late April "and was of the judgment that the manuscript draft did not contain classified information." The lawsuit states that Bolton went ahead with plans to publish in June after contacting Knight three times and being told that the review process was ongoing. (Read more John Bolton stories.)