Michael Wolff was an author who made his name through his famous book ‘Fire and Fury’. This was a book that hit headlines hugely near the beginning of the Donald Trump presidency. Its purpose was to highlight the disgusting behaviour exhibited by not only Trump himself, but by the staffers and campaigners throughout his campaign trail. This book did not, of course, paint the Republicans in a particularly rosy light, but it didn’t exactly ruin his reputation either. That being said, Trump has an uncanny habit of ruining his own reputation before others even get a chance. However, there has recently been news of a new ‘tell all’ book to hit the shelves written by none other than John Bolton, a former United States ambassador. The anxiety from the Trump camp is sky high because, this time, the author is someone who has spent time working on the inside of the White House. This book will contain more damning information about the Trump presidency than anything previously published.
After announcing his intention to publish a book, Bolton was hit with hurdles from the Trump Administration. Naturally, he was issued with a legal challenge designed to block the book from being published. This, to the rare credit of Trump’s administration, was not unreasonable as Bolton did not clear his book with the White House or any federal authority. This means that there was a danger the book could contain information that would put national security at risk. This seemed to be the main focus of the prosecution; once again hiding their true intentions of protecting tyrant Trump behind a noble cause. This argument was, however, clearly not good enough. The Trump legal team had their request to block publication of the book denied by US District Judge Royce Lamberth.
The decision to not block the book was largely due to copies having already been sent out to retailers, with many excerpts of the book also already online. I myself have already received a link to a PDF version of the book, despite the book not being published yet. Lamberth was, however, quick to point out that his decision to not block the publication did not mean that the book did not contain classified information. In fact, Lamberth himself says that Bolton ‘likely published classified materials.’
It is possible that with the publication of the book, ‘the government could criminally prosecute Bolton for violating the non-disclosure agreement and jeopardizing national security’ according to professor of law Carl Tobias. Not surprisingly, Bolton’s lawyers reject this claim.
The book contains details of borderline impeachable misconduct on behalf of the President, as well as many more bold and worrying claims such as: that Trump sought help from China to help him win the election, he said that building Islamic concentration camps was ‘the right thing to do’, he agreed with Xi Jinping when told that ‘The US has too many elections’, and also that it would be ‘cool’ for the US to invade Venezuela.
Bolton himself, however, is also no saint. He is famously against international organisations such as the United Nations as he believes that they threaten the sovereignty of the USA. Bolton also has historic disdain for the International Criminal Court; the same court which is responsible for the investigation of war crimes committed in foreign countries. Despite his obvious disapproval of Trump and to the dismay of the Democrats, Bolton also refused to testify against the President in his most recent impeachment inquiry. An inquiry that was only called thanks to information brought forward by Bolton himself that Trump withheld help from Ukraine in order to pressure the Ukrainian Prime minister into investigating Joe Biden.
Whatever the book says, it’s sure to be a bestseller. We can only wait and see how much classified information is contained within its pages, but I have a funny feeling that this isn’t the last of the Bolton lawsuit. As Trump himself threatened on Twitter earlier this week: ‘[Bolton] must pay a very big price for this, as others have before him’
Words by Olly Singleton