In a ruling on Friday, 19 June, Judge Royce Lamberth stated that “Defendant Bolton likely jeopardized national security by disclosing classified information in violation of his nondisclosure agreements.”
The judge ruled that the distribution of the book could move forward as the government has been unable to establish that an “injunction will prevent irreparable harm.” The government’s request to stop the distribution of Bolton’s book was denied.
However, Lamberth also made the following statements in his ruling:
“Upon reviewing the classified materials, as well as the declarations filed on the public docket, ECF No. 3-1-5, the Court is persuaded that defendant Bolton likely jeopardized national security by disclosing classified information in violation of his nondisclosure agreements.”
Lamberth also said that Bolton’s unilateral conduct raises grave national security concerns, the government has not established than an injunction is an appropriate remedy,” saying “Defendant Bolton has gambled with the national security of the United States.” Further, “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.”
Catherine Herridge of CBS News, who has been following this story noted that in her analysis, if “DOJ pursues criminal referral for unauthorized disclosure classified information, that Lamberth’s comments that “Bolton has exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability” would be a “key” part of any such case.
President Trump tweeted that there was nothing “the highly respected Judge could have done about stopping it” given that “the book had already been given out and leaked to many people and the media.” The President noted that Lamberth had made “strong & powerful statements” regarding rulings on money and “breaking classification.”