Bolton book alleges Trump asked China's Xi for re-election help

John Bolton

The Trump administration filed a lawsuit on June 16 seeking to prevent former national security adviser John Bolton from publishing a book that details his 17-month stint in the White House. A federal lawsuit against Bolton suggests that the book would reveal classified information.

The hard-line ex-official had hoped to publish the book, "The Room Where It Happened", in early 2020 but has faced an uphill task, the latest, an onslaught by the Trump government.

"So that would mean that, if he wrote a book and if the book gets out, he's broken the law, and I would think that he would have criminal problems". He added that Bolton would have an issue with "criminal liability" if the book comes out without first being cleared by the government. In it, Bolton - who was handpicked by Trump for the job - will reportedly elaborate on POTUS' "misconduct in the Oval office".

"I am hard pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn't driven by reelection calculations", Mr Bolton writes.

US President Donald Trump, flanked by National Security Advisor John Bolton, speaks to the media at a press conference at the 2018 NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium.

The book details Trump's dealings with China, Russia, Ukraine, North Korea (the DPRK), Iran, Britain, France and Germany, the publisher said.

Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department was trying to get Bolton to complete the clearance process and "make the necessary deletions of classified information".

The court is asked to order Bolton to request that the book's publisher, Simon & Schuster, further delay a publication date that originally was to have been in April so that the NSC can complete its pre-publication review.

"He then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming United States presidential election, alluding to China's economic capability to affect the ongoing campaigns, pleading with Xi to ensure he'd win", Mr Bolton writes, according to the paper.

The government says Bolton is in breach of basic secrecy rules after refusing to wait for the National Security Council to go through the text, as required.

The mustachioed 71-year-old on Tuesday retweeted statements by rights groups including by the American Civil Liberties Union, which pointed to a similar effort 50 years ago by the Nixon administration to suppress The Pentagon Papers that was rejected by the Supreme Court. "The final, published version of this book reflects those changes".