DOJ launches probe into Bolton book for possible classified information disclosures

Source: The Hill | September 15, 2020 | Olivia Beavers

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched a criminal investigation into whether former White House national security adviser John Bolton illegally disclosed classified information in his memoir that was released earlier this year, The Hill has confirmed.

The agency has convened a grand jury and subpoenaed Bolton’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, for records related to communications surrounding the tell-all book, “The Room Where It Happened,” The New York Times first reported.

The formal probe marks a dramatic escalation over the book, which the White House sought to temporarily block from publication earlier this year, arguing it contained classified information. Bolton’s book also painted the Trump administration in an unflattering light including details of infighting and the president’s foreign policy.

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The investigation was opened after the DOJ received a referral from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe.

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A week prior to the book’s public release, news outlets including The Hill published details about the book that included explosive allegations that President Trump asked Chinese leader Xi Jinping to help him get a competitive edge in the upcoming presidential race against former Vice President Joe Biden, the then-presumptive Democratic nominee, by advocating that Beijing make more purchases of U.S. soybeans and wheat to help his electoral chances with U.S. farmers.

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