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Justice Division drops lawsuit and legal investigation into John Bolton's guide on Trump

US Security Advisor John Bolton will meet journalists on August 12, 2019 during a visit to London.

Peter Nicholls | Reuters

The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday dropped a lawsuit seeking to confiscate profits from a bestselling book by John Bolton about his tenure as national security adviser to former President Donald Trump, a court record shows.

At the same time, the Justice Department announced to Bolton that it is ceasing an investigation into whether he may have committed a crime that may have disclosed classified information in this book, "The Room Where it Happened," according to a statement from Bolton's office.

This book, published by Simon & Schuster last year, sharply criticized Trump.

"These measures are a complete justification for Ambassador Bolton and a rejection of former President Trump's attempt on the pretext of protecting classified information, suppressing publication of the book first and, when it failed in court, punishing the ambassador," said Bolton's office.

"Trump openly admitted his wish to block publication of the book before the 2020 elections for political reasons," the statement said.

"For example, he said," We will try to block the publication of the book. After I leave office, he can do so. But not in the White House. ""

The statement also noted that the judge in the case, Royce Lamberth, before the Justice Department agreed to dismiss the lawsuit, had granted a motion by Bolton's attorney to obtain evidence that "alleged President Trump or senior officials The White House's actions "could corroborate it in bad faith by deliberately delaying the review prior to publication and attempting to inappropriately influence classification decisions" about the book.

Trump said in a statement his new spokeswoman Liz Harrington sent to CNBC that he had "nothing to do with John Bolton's stupid and irrelevant book."

"That was and is a business of the DOJ, not me. John Bolton was a slide while he was a fool at the same time," said Trump's statement.

Bolton's tell-tale book "is full of lies and misrepresentations and not worth talking about. John was a total weirdo and anachronism. He had no idea!" said Trump.

A Justice Department spokesman did not immediately respond to CNBC's requests for comment.

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The Justice Department sued Bolton in 2020, claiming that he failed to comply with the requirement to obtain written approval prior to the publication of his book to ensure that it did not reveal any classified information.

The division failed to convince a judge to prevent the book from being published, but continued to attempt to prosecute the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. was submitted to make a profit from it.

In his statement on Wednesday, Bolton's office included a letter from attorneys for Ellen Knight, a former National Security Council officer who checked the manuscript of the book for classified information.

The letter describes how Trump's White House tried to prevent the book from being published, even after the manuscript was revised and contained no classified information.

Bolton's attorney Charles Cooper said in a statement: "We are delighted that the Justice Department has unreservedly dismissed its civil suit against Ambassador Bolton and suspended the grand jury."

"We argued from the start that none of the measures were justified as they were only initiated because of President Trump's politically motivated order to prevent the ambassador's book from being published before the 2020 elections," said Cooper.

"By ending this trial without penalizing Ambassador Bolton in any way or limiting his revenue from the book, the Justice Department has tacitly acknowledged that President Trump and his White House officials acted illegally."

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