June 25 (UPI) — A lawsuit was filed in Washington, D.C., federal court on Thursday and asks a judge to make public bits of information removed from the new memoir from former national security adviser John Bolton, which was released this week.
The 27-page suit seeks passages that the White House wanted removed from the book, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, and details about the prepublication review process.
The Trump administration fought for a week to block Bolton’s book, arguing that it contained classified information potentially harmful to U.S. national security. A judge refused an injunction last weekend and the book went on sale Tuesday.
Among other things, the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit wants to know if the disputed information in the book truly had national security implications or was merely embarrassing to President Donald Trump.
Bolton was Trump’s national security adviser for 17 months in 2018 and 2019 before he left the post last September following disagreements with the president on multiple issues, including North Korea and Iran.
“The Bolton case describes a prepublication review process driven by the whims of the political appointees in the White House, shrouded in the deference courts traditionally give the Intelligence Community on questions of national security,” Kel McClanahan, an attorney behind the lawsuit, told Politico. “The public deserves to know if the claims made behind closed doors about Bolton’s book hold up to the scrutiny of a skeptical judge in a more demanding FOIA context.”
“Did the government prevent him from saying unclassified information that he had a right to say because it was politically damaging?” attorney and plaintiff Devin Stone asked in a video on his YouTube channel “We’re committed to taking this to the mat.”
Stone said all FOIA requests have so far been refused.
Defendants in the suit include the National Security Council and Departments of Justice, Defense and State, as well as the National Archives and the Central Intelligence Agency.