The Justice Department has dropped its investigation of John Bolton and a related lawsuit exactly one year after the Trump administration sued to block the release of memoir The Room Where It Happened. The criminal investigation into whether the former national security adviser violated laws on the disclosure of classified information was opened after the administration failed to halt publication of the memoir, which contained numerous damaging revelations about Donald Trump's approach to foreign policy. The lawsuit, which sought to seize profits from the book, could have cost Bolton millions, CNN reports. Bolton attorney Charles Cooper praised the move, saying both cases had been politically motivated.
By dropping the cases, the Department of Justice has "tacitly acknowledged that President Trump and his White House officials acted illegitimately," Cooper said. The move may have protected Trump from yet more damaging revelations. Sources tell the New York Times that during the presidential transition, the Biden team concluded that the case had been pursued in a highly political manner and that plenty of "unsavory" Trump administration behavior would be revealed if Bolton's lawyer questioned former administration officials under oath. The advisers "believed it would be improper to allow a meritless case to proceed simply to embarrass the Trump administration" and recommended that the new administration drop it, the Times reports. (Read more John Bolton stories.)