The Department of Justice has slapped ex-national security adviser John Bolton with a lawsuit, seeking to stop the publication of his upcoming book, insisting it contains classified material and must complete a pre-print review.

Filed on Tuesday, the 27-page complaint requests that Bolton be ordered to obtain “written authorization” to publish the memoir – ‘The Room Where It Happened’ – which has been billed as a tell-all account of his time working in the White House under the Donald Trump administration.

Publishing the book would be a “clear breach of agreements [Bolton] signed as a condition of his employment and as a condition of gaining access to highly classified information,” the DOJ said in its filing, arguing the book is “rife” with such material.

And there it is: Trump’s Department of Justice is suing to stop John Bolton from publishing his book on Trump. The lawsuit references possible “criminal penalties” for any “unauthorized disclosure of classified information.”

The complaint comes at a late stage for the memoir, which was slated to be published next week and has become a number-one best seller on Amazon through pre-orders alone. Bolton has already given an exclusive interview to ABC to promote the book, set to run this weekend, while print copies have reportedly arrived at warehouses ready to hit the shelves. With the new lawsuit set in motion, however, the title may never see the light of day.

Bolton came under intense criticism last year after refusing to testify at Trump’s impeachment hearings, launched by Democratic lawmakers who said the president abused his authority in dealings with Ukraine. Some have speculated that the former adviser preferred to save any major disclosures for an expose memoir and was reluctant to spoil the book in testimony to Congress.

Hinting at the suit earlier this week, President Trump said that Bolton might face “criminal liability” for the memoir, arguing it would be “totally inappropriate” to divulge the content of high-level White House conversations. Attorney General Bill Barr also suggested the book might land Bolton in trouble, confirming on Monday that it never completed a pre-publication review, which are routinely ordered for books penned by former officials.

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