The White House on Wednesday informed former National Security Adviser John Bolton he could not publish a new book in its current form because the manuscript contains “significant amounts of classified information.”
According to a January 23 letter to Bolton’s attorneys from Ellen Knight, the National Security Council’s Senior Director for Records, Access, and Information Security Management, the classified materials make the book unsuitable for release.
The White House is requesting that the materials be removed from the book, titled, “The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir.”
“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agreements your client signed as a condition for gaining access to classified information, the manuscript may not be published or otherwise disclosed without the deletion of this classified information,” Knight said in her letter to lawyer Charles Cooper.
The NSC official also noted that a preliminary review of the manuscript found some “top secret” material, adding the panel would give additional guidance after concluding its current examination of the text.
“We will do our best to work with you to ensure your client’s ability to tell his story in a manner that protects U.S. national security,” Knight wrote.
The letter to Cooper comes three days after The New York Times published a story claiming that Bolton writes in his book that President Donald Trump told him personally he wanted to withhold military aid from Ukraine until President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to investigate corruption allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
President Trump has called the alleged claim “false” and blasted Bolton on social media.
Nevertheless, the well-timed story increased Democrats’ calls for Bolton as a witness in the ongoing Senate impeachment trial of the president.
As of late Wednesday, however, it wasn’t clear if there were enough Republican votes to call any witnesses, let alone Bolton.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News on Tuesday that “the president will be acquitted, and I think it will be this week.”
“This is the weakest case you’ll ever see in the history of the country in terms of impeachment,” he added.