• Joseph Perry, Esq.

DOJ Drops Case Over John Bolton’s Memoir

On June 16th, the Department of Justice dropped its lawsuit against former President Trump's national security advisor John Bolton over his bestselling memoir The Room Where It Happened published by Simon & Schuster.

In June 2020, the DoJ sued Bolton to block publication of his memoir, alleging that The Room Where It Happened contained classified information that jeopardized national security and violated Bolton’s nondisclosure agreements. The NDA‘s required Bolton to wait until he had written clearance before publishing his memoir. Judge Lamberth made clear he disapproved of Bolton's decision to move forward with publishing his memoir but refused to block its publication. However, Judge Lamberth ruled that the DoJ could pursue a civil suit to seize Bolton’s royalties. Later in September 2020, the DoJ also initiated a criminal investigation against Bolton for allegedly publishing classified information.


In October 2020, a federal judge declined to dismiss the case at Bolton's request, finding that the government improperly breached Bolton's prepublication review and nondisclosure obligations, among other things. Before the case was dropped earlier this week, Bolton's legal team had entered the discovery process, seeking evidence that Trump or his aides sought to block the publication of his memoir for political reasons.

The criminal investigation concerning whether Bolton published disclosed classified information has also been dropped


Bolton's lawsuit is the latest book-related case to be dropped by the DoJ in recent months. In February, the DoJ dropped its lawsuit against Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former communications aide for first lady Melania Trump, concerning her memoir Melania & Me published by Gallery Books.

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