Former National Security Adviser John Bolton has filed a motion to dismiss the Justice Department’s lawsuit seeking an injunction against his upcoming tell-all book, calling it a “regrettable pretext” to silence him. In a filing ahead of a Friday hearing on the matter, lawyers for the former Trump aide argue that the lawsuit should be dismissed “for failure to state a claim.” The Trump administration’s claim that the book never completed the prepublication review process is a “regrettable pretext designed to cover up what is in fact a determined political effort to suppress Ambassador Bolton’s speech,” the filing states. Bolton also argues that it’s too late for the book to be withheld, noting that 200,000 copies “have already been printed, bound, and distributed to booksellers throughout the country.”
“The Government cannot plausibly argue that Ambassador Bolton has power to stop the Amazon delivery trucks in America, unshelve the copies in Europe, commandeer the copies in Canada, and repossess the copies sent to reviewers or in the possession of major newspapers,” the filing says. The Justice Department asked a judge earlier this week to order that Bolton’s book about his time in the White House be halted before it can be distributed, claiming it contains classified information that could pose a threat to national security.