U.S. sues Bolton over publication of book

TRUMP: "That's called criminal liability, that's a big thing."

A day after U.S. President Donald Trump said John Bolton's upcoming book would be in violation of the law if published, the U.S. government sued Trump's former national security advisor, seeking to block him from publishing the book about his time in the White House.

The civil lawsuit said Bolton's memoir contained classified information and would compromise national security.

Trump told reporters at the White House Monday that Bolton knows he has classified information in his book, and that he had not completed a clearing process required for any book written by former government officials…

TRUMP: "He knows, and he was advised, not to write it, advised very strongly not to write it until it's cleared, and we'll see what happens."

Attorney General William Barr doubled down on the notion that the book hasn't been properly vetted.

BARR: "People who come to work in the government, who have access to sensitive information generally sign an agreement. We don't believe that Bolton went through that process, hasn't completed the process, and therefore is in violation of that agreement."

But that's not what Bolton's attorney, Chuck Cooper, says happened. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal last week- Cooper said his client worked closely with the White House for months and made many changes to the manuscript to avoid releasing classified material.

Simon and Schuster - the book's publisher - says this is the book Donald Trump doesn't want you to read. In the book, Bolton argues that the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives should have expanded its impeachment probe against Trump last year to beyond questions over whether Trump invited foreign interference from Ukraine.

Trump fired Bolton in September amid simmering differences on a wide array of foreign policy issues

Bolton's " The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir" is set to be published on June 23.

Video Transcript

DONALD TRUMP: That's called criminal liability. That's a big thing.

- A day after US President Donald Trump said John Bolton's upcoming book would be in violation of the law if published, the US government sued Trump's former national security advisor, seeking to block him from publishing the book about his time in the White House. The civil lawsuit said Bolton's memoir contained classified information and would compromise national security.

Trump told reporters at the White House Monday that Bolton knows he has classified information in his book and that he had not completed a clearing process required for any book written by former government officials.

DONALD TRUMP: He knows. And he was advised not to write it. And he was advised very strongly not to write it until it's cleared. And he couldn't wait. And we'll see what happens. But--

- US Attorney General William Barr doubled down on the notion that the book hasn't been properly vetted.

WILLIAM BARR: People who come to work in the government and have access to sensitive information generally sign an agreement that they have to go through a clearance process before they can publish the book. And we don't believe that Bolton went through that process, hasn't completed the process, and therefore, is in violation of that agreement.

- But that's not what Bolton's attorney, Chuck Cooper, says happened. In an op-ed in "The Wall Street Journal" last week, Cooper said his client worked closely with the White House for months and made many changes to the manuscript to avoid releasing classified material. Simon & Schuster, the book's publisher, says this is the book Donald Trump doesn't want you to read. In the book, Bolton argues that the Democratic-led US House of Representatives should have expanded its impeachment probe against Trump last year to beyond questions over whether Trump invited foreign interference from Ukraine.

Trump fired Bolton in September amid simmering differences on a wide array of foreign policy issues. Bolton's "The Room Where It Happened, a White House Memoir," is set to be published on June 23.