- An explosive memoir penned by President Trump's former national security advisor is being blocked from publication in a bid to suppress its contents
- The Justice Department has sought a second court order to stop the book's release, citing national security concerns
- John Bolton accuses the President of running a foreign policy regime more tuned to his own re-election than serving the national interest
- And then there's the little complication that if what Bolton is saying is classified, it must also be true. If it's not true, then it can't be classified
- What this means for the November elections is anyone's guess
An explosive memoir penned by President Donald Trump's former national security advisor, John R. Bolton, is being blocked from publication in a bid to suppress its contents.
The Justice Department has sought a second court order to stop the book's release, citing national security concerns. The book has already been at least partially vetted for classified information.
Judging by excerpts published in the New York Times, Washington Post and others, Bolton doesn't reveal any state secrets, but rather tells a story of an incompetent and corrupt administration which has repeatedly put its own re-election ahead of the national interest.
In the book, titled 'The Room Where It Happened,' Mr Bolton claims Trump pandered to authoritarian leaders, even going so far as to praise the Chinese internment of Uighurs as "the right thing to do."
In a separate incident, high-level talks between Chinese President Xi and Trump turned to upcoming U.S. elections, with Trump pleading with Xi to help him get re-elected.
Bolton writes: "[Trump] stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome. I would print Trump’s exact words, but the government’s prepublication review process has decided otherwise."
Such actions weren't limited to Trump's interactions with the Chinese leader either.
Bolton says Trump's actions "formed a pattern of fundamentally unacceptable behaviour that eroded the very legitimacy of the presidency," and that the President treated "obstruction of justice as a way of life."
The book contains further examples of Trump's alleged corruption and scattershot, self-serving foreign policy in dealings with other states, including Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and North Korea.
According to the book, Bolton could barely think of "any significant Mr Trump decision during [his] White House tenure that wasn't driven by reelection calculations."
With November looming ever closer, the explosive allegations could put a real dampener on White House attempts to paint Democratic rival Joe Biden as the candidate most prone to foreign influence.
The only real precedent to these unprecedented times is the Nixon administration's attempts to suppress reporting by the New York Times and Washington Post. Those injunction attempts were deemed in breach of the First Amendment by a six-three U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
As is the case with so much Trump-era posturing, the bark is often worse than the bite. The President has been threatening to jail Hillary Clinton for years, yet no charges have ever been laid. And who could forget the recent Obamagate scandal? It seems the White House has.
And then there's the little complication that if what Bolton is saying is classified, it must also be true. If it's not true, then it can't be classified.
The only question is: will it make any difference come November?