The Trump regime is now exacting bloody revenge on John Bolton's mustache, and odds are he's going to prison, and the WSJ can barely contain its glee.
Federal prosecutors issued grand jury subpoenas to former national security adviser John Bolton’s publisher and literary agent on Monday, according to people familiar with the matter, launching a criminal investigation into whether Mr. Bolton mishandled classified information.
The subpoenas, to Simon & Schuster and Javelin, requested all communications with Mr. Bolton, said the people, who declined to be named. Both companies were involved in publishing Mr. Bolton’s bestseller, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.” The book, released in June, is highly critical of President Trump and relays stories about Mr. Bolton’s time in government and relationship with the president.
The Justice Department’s use of a grand jury in the inquiry hasn’t previously been reported. The agency previously filed a lawsuit against Mr. Bolton over the book’s publication.
Mr. Bolton himself didn’t receive any subpoena, one of the people said. A spokeswoman for Mr. Bolton declined to comment. An attorney for Mr. Bolton couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
A spokesman for Simon & Schuster, which is the book publishing arm of ViacomCBS Inc., declined to comment. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment. A representative for Javelin couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
The development marks an escalation in the administration’s battle with Mr. Bolton, who is one of several former administration officials who have written books that recount their time in office under Mr. Trump. The president and the White House have been critical of some of those memoirs for painting a harsh portrait of him.
But the Justice Department took particular issue with Mr. Bolton’s book because he was accused of not waiting until his manuscript had received signoff from national security reviewers, the government alleged in a civil suit earlier this year filed in federal court in Washington. Such signoff is required of former officials to ensure that they don’t disseminate classified information.
Mr. Bolton responded in that civil suit that one official had cleared the manuscript after months of edits, and that the White House was improperly extending the review process to delay his book because it was embarrassing for Mr. Trump.
Mr. Bolton’s memoir sold more than 780,000 copies in all formats through its first week on sale in the U.S., according to Simon & Schuster. There are now more than 1 million hardcover copies in print.
A federal judge said John Bolton likely “jeopardized national security” and was persuaded that Mr. Bolton had violated his employment contracts that governed his access to classified information when he was Mr. Trump’s national security adviser. But the judge rejected the request to block the book’s distribution given that many of its revelations had already been made public.
The judge, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, also noted that Mr. Bolton may have committed a crime, saying: “This was Bolton’s bet: If he is right and the book doesn’t contain classified information, he [gains publicity and sales]; but if he is wrong, he stands to lose his profits from the book deal, exposes himself to criminal liability, and imperils national security. Bolton was wrong.”
So the civil suit is now a Bill Barr-run criminal investigation, complete with possible indictments. Pay close attention to this one, as it's how Trump wants to deal with all his enemies, Republican and Democratic. In a second Trump term, a whole hell of a lot of people are going to prison, and none of them will be the people who actually need to go to prison.
Well, except maybe Bolton, the guy actually does deserve a few war crimes tribunals to be honest.