The White House is trying to block Bolton's book, which contains damning allegations against Trump, from public view.
The White House is attempting to block former national security adviser John Bolton's book from publication, claiming it contains "significant amounts of classified information," some of which is "at the top secret level," even as Donald Trump himself insists the book is fake.
The White House made the claim in a letter to Bolton's lawyer, Charles Cooper, saying that, "under federal law and the nondisclosure agreements your client signed as a condition for gaining access to classified information, the manuscript may not be published or otherwise disclosed without the deletion of this classified information."
It's unclear what information in the book — which makes explosive allegations against Trump — the White House deems classified.
Cooper initially submitted the manuscript for review out of courtesy to the White House, saying that he and Bolton were sure there is no classified information in the book but wanted to let the National Security Council review it anyway.
"Ambassador Bolton has carefully sought to avoid any discussion in the manuscript of sensitive compartmented information ('SCI') or other classified information, and we accordingly do not believe that prepublication review is required," Cooper wrote in a letter to the NSC on Dec. 30. "We are nonetheless submitting this manuscript out of an abundance of caution."
The claim that Bolton's book contains classified information also comes after Trump himself deemed Bolton's book fake altogether.
"I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens," Trump tweeted on Monday. "In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book."
Trump also retweeted several posts from right-wing figures declaring the allegations in Bolton's book were supposedly manufactured.
Bolton's book has upended the impeachment trial against Trump, increasing calls for Bolton to testify about his knowledge of Trump's dealings with Ukraine. Those dealings with Ukraine are at the very heart of the impeachment charges Trump faces.
The book specifically alleges that Trump told Bolton he wanted to withhold critical aid to Ukraine to force the country to open investigations into his political rivals, including former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump has repeatedly claimed those demands were warranted and based on his desire to root out corruption in Ukraine.
Democrats would need four GOP senators to vote with them to compel Bolton's testimony.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.