Bolton’s Win Could Cost Him More Than Just Profits

John_R._BoltonOn Saturday, federal district court judge Royce Lamberth denied a motion to enjoin the release of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s tell-all book in a 10-page order.  The book, titled “The Room Where it Happened,” is already in circulation with reporters literally standing outside of the courthouse reading from it.  As argued in the column before the decision, Lamberth rejected the injunction.  However, he lambasted Bolton for his failure to complete the classification review that he agreed to as part of his taking the position with President Donald Trump.  There are already possibly classified subjects being teased out of the book by the media.  Lamberth decried the fact that Bolton has “gambled with national security” and said that his actions “raise grave national security concerns” but “the damage is done.” Perhaps it is done for the release but the damage to Bolton may only be beginning. As Lamberth noted, he now faces civil and criminal liability, which are discussed in the column. 

Here is the column:

In a hearing to stop former national security adviser John Bolton from releasing his book, an exasperated Judge Royce Lamberth seemed to throw up his hands over demands for an injunction, stating the horse “seems to be out of the barn.” Lamberth is right and wrong. He is right that an injunction makes little sense as the administration did nothing while the book was printed and sent to warehouses and to the media. Lamberth is wrong that there is not a good option because there is. It would be to let Bolton sell the book, let the critics of President Trump purchase it, and let the federal government keep the profits.

The case is tricky because Bolton is in clear violation of his nondisclosure agreement, which includes a provision for approval prior to publication. I have signed such nondisclosure agreements for decades for my national security work and, each time, I still swallow hard in reading the language on review. Moreover, the courts tend to defer to the classification claims of the executive branch. Bolton admits he did not receive approval since he believed, not without reason, that the administration was slowing the process in order to delay the book release before the election.

There is certainly every indication that Bolton did exactly what the White House hoped he would do. The administration did nothing as thousands of copies of “The Room Where It Happened” were printed. So if the book does contain sensitive classified information, it hardly seems credible as intelligence agencies believed the Russians would not dare try to breach the Barnes and Noble warehouse guarded by a single night watchman or, on the other hand, borrow a copy from any journalist in town.

Adding to this mystery, the book actually did pass a classification review but was suddenly subjected to a highly irregular secondary review. That duplicate review was performed by the National Security Council senior director for intelligence, Michael Ellis, who had been on the job only two months and declared portions of the book classified. Further, the Justice Department admitted Ellis did not have “original classification authority” until a day after he finished his review of what Bolton wrote.

None of that supports the act of prior restraint of a publisher, even if the court accepts the classification authority. Such prior restraint raises free speech issues, notably if the administration seeks to block the release of the book alleging that the president is unstable and unfit. It is even more problematic when the book is readily available to the media. Indeed, the day that Lamberth was considering an injunction against the book, there were journalists such as John Roberts with Fox News working next to the White House reading it. No one in the courtroom was unimpeachable, so the solution here is to give them all what they richly deserve.

Bolton will have his book out despite violating his trust with the president, his nondisclosure agreement, and the federal classification laws. For that success, however, he could lose his profits and even his liberty. In waiting for Bolton to run, the Justice Department handed him just enough rope to hang himself. Given the prior notice of classified content, it could bring a criminal prosecution under the Espionage Act, though such prosecutions are rare and difficult. The main goal would be the profits. It has happened before. Navy Seal Matthew Bissonnette used the pen name Mark Owen to write “No Easy Day” about the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. He had to pay the government almost $7 million to avoid prosecution.

Likewise, in the case Frank Snepp versus the United States, the Supreme Court considered a book by a Central Intelligence Agency employee who signed his nondisclosure agreement but wrote about official activities for Vietnam. The Supreme Court ruled that Snepp would lose his profits and described the case in a way that must concern Bolton about positions of trust in the federal government. An obvious example of one of those few positions of great trust would be national security adviser.

The Justice Department could threaten prosecution while settling for the profits. This leaves Bolton with high acclaim and few assets. Republicans despise him for diving the party, and Democrats hate him for refusing to testify during the impeachment. For Trump, the book will join a towering pile of accounts from former senior aides accusing him of lunacy. He has responded with his standard vicious personal attack on a former top aide or cabinet member, leading a White House reporter to ask, “Why do you keep hiring people that you believe are wackos and liars?”

That is why Lamberth has to refuse the injunction. Everyone will get what they want. Critics get another embarrassing insider account of the White House, Bolton gets his account on record, Trump gets to seize the profits, and Lamberth is the man in “the room where it happened.”

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley.

92 thoughts on “Bolton’s Win Could Cost Him More Than Just Profits”

  1. I was shocked when Trump recruited Bolton. Even more shocked Bolton agreed to it. The man would’ve gotten the U.S. into a war with Iran at any number of junctures over time (and administrations) and be thankful he didn’t get his way. Still, I’ll read the book even though it won’t really tell me what I don’t know already. If the profits are stripped, so be it. Bolton should’ve testified in the House investigation and gotten called in the impeachment trial (if the fix wasn’t in).

    But for the sake of brevity, let’s boil it down once again: Trump is weak, inept, incomptent and corrupt. He’s treated the office of president as a cash register and serially attempted to shake down foreign governments to get himself re-elected. Clearly, with events of the weekend around Berman, if Trump loses he’s in serious danger of being indicted, probably for tax and insurance fraud. Things are awful in Trump land right about now and the only people who can’t see it are his diehard true believers. Turley sees it though and he’s pedaling hard to fulfill his contractual duties and still come out as unscathed as possible on the other side. Lindsey Graham is beginning to see the light in the same way.

    Basically Trump will travel to his scaled down rallies and talk smack on twitter for the rest of his term. He’ll be granted no meetings with foreign leaders. We’re in a holding pattern as a nation while, coincidently, we really can’t afford the time to be in a holding pattern. Let Trump’s one term be an experiment in exactly the type of national behavior that the U.S. should never again engage in.

    1. “But for the sake of brevity, let’s boil it down once again: Trump is weak, inept, incomptent and corrupt. He’s treated the office of president as a cash register and serially attempted to shake down foreign governments to get himself re-elected. Clearly, with events of the weekend around Berman, if Trump loses he’s in serious danger of being indicted, probably for tax and insurance fraud. ”

      Because you say so ?

      I have no doubt that the possibility of Trump being indicted exists should he lose the election – we already know the left is lawless.

      Why is Trump weak ? He beat Hillary. He was not impeached. He has gotten his way on much of what he promised oftwen without republicans.

      Why is he inept – again he has accomplished much of what he said he would. Can Obama say the same ?

      Incompetent – generally we assume that peopel who succeeed over and over and over are competent.

      Corrupt – again your evidence ?

      How has he profited as president ? His net worth has declined. I do not think that has been true of any recent president.
      I do not think that is true of any other politician.

      Yes, Trump has sought to do what he promised he would do. From day one that has overtly been how he has intended to get re-elected.

      Pretty much every time Bolton says Trump did something to get re-elected, it is something that Trump promised to do.

      What do we expect of presidents – that they will lie to get elected – and then do what John Bolton says ?

      As to Berman – Trump was again elected as the person who would drain the swamp, step in and deliver his signature “your fired” over and over. That is a promise he has FAILED to do far to often.

      I know little of Berman – and care less. He was court appointed – there is no provision in the constitution for that. The president is entitled to have US AG’s of his choice – Obama replaced all the Bush AG’s with his own appointments. Berman had the oportunity to serve elsewhere in justice. Now he does not. Congress is free to investigate if they want.
      This time they should actually investigate, instead of pushing BS based on policy disagreements.

      “Things are awful in Trump land right about now and the only people who can’t see it are his diehard true believers.”
      You do understand this is a giant contradiction

      “Basically Trump will travel to his scaled down rallies and talk smack on twitter for the rest of his term. He’ll be granted no meetings with foreign leaders. We’re in a holding pattern as a nation while, coincidently, we really can’t afford the time to be in a holding pattern. ”

      we can all speculate about the future. There are only two choices with all these BLM protests – things get worse, or they get better.
      Trump wins both scenarious. Though I guess there is the possiblity that BLM fades AND violence spikes – Trump wins that.

      We can speculate about the economy – but the signs from May are way above what even rapid Trump fans expected.

      I keep hearing that Trump is getting creamed by Biden – but the numbers is swing states right now are more favorable to Trump than they were the week before Hillary was elected. Oops, that did not happen did it ?

      Regardless, we will get to find out in November.

      1. “Because you say so ?”

        Actually, I’m just agreeing with Bolton and Michael Cohen.

        Trump is weak because he’s beholden to despots, needed Russian help to gain a technical victory, and is too undisciplined to even read his intelligence briefings. Take your pick of accounts of people who worked with him in the White House for that bare minimum of truth.

        “Things are awful in Trump land right about now and the only people who can’t see it are his diehard true believers.”
        You do understand this is a giant contradiction

        How so? You just proved my observation true.

        1. And you’re doubting Trump’s corruptness???

          The man entered office on a 25 million pay off in order to avoid being deposed in his Trump University case. And then proceeded to serially shake down foreign government for help in getting re elected. The man is literally who impeachment was written for and without Mitch McConnell’s work in the Senate.

          Don’t worry, SDNY had Cohen help in looking at Trump’s business dealings. Individual 1 will have a solid party invitation once he’s no longer in office.

          And here’s where polling stands: Trump behind in every swing state and tied in a lot of states he won by a lot in ’16. He’s heading for a spanking. But don’t worry I’ll be here for you in November when it happens.

          1. And you’re doubting Trump’s corruptness???

            “The man entered office on a 25 million pay off in order to avoid being deposed in his Trump University case.”
            So ?

            “And then proceeded to serially shake down foreign government for help in getting re elected.”
            This would be ukraine, Russian and China again ?

            “If you can’t eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women, take their money and then vote against them, you have no business being up here.”

            “The man is literally who impeachment was written for”
            How so ? It is not like he blackmailed ukrained for a Billion dollars to thwart the investigation of his son or anything like that ?

            “Don’t worry, SDNY had Cohen help in looking at Trump’s business dealings. Individual 1 will have a solid party invitation once he’s no longer in office.”
            There is not enough tinfoil left for that hat of yours.

            Why are you to be beleived ? What have you been right about.

            “And here’s where polling stands: Trump behind in every swing state and tied in a lot of states he won by a lot in ’16.”
            He was further behind in all the same states according to the last polls in Nov. 2016.

            ” He’s heading for a spanking.”
            Maybe, maybe not.
            After 2016 it is hard to beleive polls.
            Didn’t 538 and NYT say that Clinton had like a 98% chance of winning ?

        2. “Actually, I’m just agreeing with Bolton and Michael Cohen.”
          A war monger and a crook ?

          Enough said.

          “Trump is weak because he’s beholden to despots,”
          So there are 3 super carrier fleets off China right now because Trump is beholden to Xi ?
          So the US is energy independent and has guaranteed the NG supplies for all of europe – to make Putin happy ?

          “needed Russian help to gain a technical victory”
          Sorry, but the one getting Russian help was hillary – and she still lost.

          “and is too undisciplined to even read his intelligence briefings.”
          And yet he decided not to start a war with Iran, defeated ISIS, is getting us out of Syria, Iraq and Afghainstan, got us out of a shitty Iranian deal, and is very effectively dealing with China.

          Seems he does not need those briefings.

          “Take your pick of accounts of people who worked with him in the White House for that bare minimum of truth.”

          How do those accounts line up with results ?
          Trump has kept most of his campaign promises – I am not sure any president since Washington has done that well.

          Covid was purportedly going to tank the economy, but 1Q 2020 came in 0.35% growth and probably 2Q will come in barely in the black.
          In otherwords despite the worst economic disruption in history, there will not likely technically be an actual recession.

          Growth in may came in way beyond anyone’s expectations.
          And according to Trading Economics even with a $hitty 1Q 2020 and probably a $hitty 2Q 2020, Trump still has better average growth than Obama who was elected at the bottom of a recession and should not have been able to F’up if he tried.

          1. Actually, Trump’s lawyer and National Security advisor. Enough said.

            Keep dreaming, John. Let’s check back in November.

            1. “Actually, Trump’s lawyer and National Security advisor. Enough said.”
              You are correct, but so was I, and that does matter.

              There is some significance to Trump’s decision to hire these people – particularly Cohen.

              Bolton is more complex as there are reasons to hire someone like Bolton even if they are so at odds with your policies – if they can be expected not to sabotage you from the inside.

              “Keep dreaming, John. Let’s check back in November.”
              Lets.

              Regardless, Nov. Is more important to you than me.

              I am libertarian. I will near certain vote for Jo Jorgensen.
              But she will not win.

              If Trump wins – and I am very disturbed by Biden’s purportedly rising polls – we are NOT seeing the same thing in more focused swing state polls. Trump’s Approval rating has matched Obama’s almost exactly for his entire presidency and still does. Trump is 2pts above where Obama was at this time. More importantly Trump’s approval rating has not changed while the Polls purportedly have – and that is odd.

              And the chaos arround us right now redounds to democrats not republicans. It is blue cities aflame. If the police are racist – they are racist in the bluest cities in the country. We are seeing violence and destruction – maybe not on the level of 1968, but it is still something people do not tolerate for long. We are seeing rising Crime. We are seeing growing opposition ro blue state lockdowns. We are seeing a highly deserved erosion in the credibility of “experts”

              And finally – despite what should be a near death blow to the economy – 1Q 2020 had positive growth – only barely, but in the black none the less. And 2Q 2020 will likely be the same. The Covid19 Economy will likely not qualify as an official recession – despite being the sharpest drop in history. So far it is also the sharpest recovery in history.

              Do you think people will not notice ?

              There will be some problems – some businesses are dead forever or wounded for a long time. Someone will be blamed in November
              Maybe Trump. He was president.
              Some jobs – especially minority low skill jobs – the very people protesting are going to take much longer to recover. Someone will be blamed in November.
              The chaos and violence we have seen in the past month will effect voters in november.
              It is likely we are seeing the start of a significant rise in crime that will last past the election. Someone will be blamed in November.

              Voters are very off about who they blame. Most of these I would think will naturally be blamed on the left, as they are the causes.
              But voters sometimes blame the wrong people.

              I expect 2020 to be a sweep election. But I am not sure who is being swept away. I am not sure the polls are going to tell us.

              And in the event it is a blue sweep – Biden will have the same problem as Obama did.
              He will have to govern. People will forget the MSM’s creative editing of Trump.

              Biden and democrats will be measured against Trump’s accomplishments.

              Biden can undo everything Trump did, or redo the Obama polices that were undone.

              But whatever he does he will pay the consequences for that.

              One of the factors driving the much lower than normal unemployment has been Trump’s tough stance on immigration.
              If there are fewer low skilled immigrants there are more jibs for low skilled americans.

              How do you expect that Biden is going to deliver on that ?

              Free College education destroyed one of the greatest higher education systems in the world.
              How well do you think that is going to work in the US ?

              Everyone knows that there is no money to pay for Democrats health plans – or any of their either plans.

              Any consequenctial reversal on Trump’s tax reforms will come at the expense of the economy.

              Changes to energy policy will hit consumers hard, empower and embolden russia and further destabilize the mideast.

              What is it that you think Biden can change with China ? Trump has successfully encircled china – politically and militarily.
              The impacts are great for china’s neighbors, good for the US,. and probably in the long term good for china.

              Is Biden going to return to the prior policies that empowered china – at the expense of the US and all of china’s neighbors ?

              What are you going to change that is not going to have a negative impact ?

              With Trump gone you will be able to do as you please – but you will have to pay the cost.

              We can already see the differences between an Obama presidency and a Trump one.
              How do you think a return to Obama will help democrats ?

              I beleive during Obama’s presidency democrats lost something like 4000 elected offices at the federal and state level.
              A small part of that has reversed with Trump. But return to Obama policies and you will get Obama political results.
              If Democrats manage to take the Senate in 2020, they will lose it again is 2022.
              And they may never get it back again.

      2. John say, “ Why is Trump weak ? He beat Hillary. He was not impeached. He has gotten his way on much of what he promised oftwen without republicans.”

        He was not impeached? You must be confused here. Trump WAS impeached. He wasn’t REMOVED if that’s what you’re trying to say. He has lost more court battles than any other president. What he has promised hasn’t actually been delivered. Wall isn’t done, Mexico didn’t pay for it. DACA is still in effect, the ACA is still law. Etc. there are very few things, easy things, that he has delivered as promised, but with a lot of caveats.

        Remember for coal miners? He left them out to dry. He promised he wouldn’t forget about them., he already did.

        “ The president is entitled to have US AG’s of his choice – Obama replaced all the Bush AG’s with his own appointments. Berman had the oportunity to serve elsewhere in justice. Now he does not.”

        Obama replaced all appointments at the beginning of his term which is customary. Trump waited till near the end of his term and removed an attorney in the middle of an investigation involving a close ally. That’s a very sharp distinction.

        Trump IS incompetent. He’s demonstrated that well throughout his term. The constant contradictions and backpedaling, and reversals show that. No other president has had such a record.

        1. “He was not impeached? You must be confused here. Trump WAS impeached. He wasn’t REMOVED if that’s what you’re trying to say.”
          My mistake.

          “He has lost more court battles than any other president.”
          at lower courts – not SCOTUS. Even with the recent stupid decisions he is still far better than Obama.
          Obama had more 9:0 losses than I beleive any president ever.

          We are still fighting over DACA even though SCOTUS found it unconstitutional before Trump was elected.

          “Wall isn’t done,”
          Correct – but it is started – That has been a promise of presidents right and left since Reagan.
          “Mexico didn’t pay for it.”
          Trumps supporters take him seriously but not literally
          his detractors take him literally but not seriously.

          Got to a Trump rally – how many people there think trump failed ?

          BTW Trump has Mexico functioning as US border patrol.

          Far fewer illegals are crossing – because they are being stopped in mexico.

          “DACA is still in effect”
          Actually no. It was suspended in 2015 and remains suspended.
          “the ACA is still law.”
          To the extent there is any of it left.

          “there are very few things, easy things, that he has delivered as promised, but with a lot of caveats.”
          If it was so easy why was Obama unable to keep the promises that he and Trump shared ?

          “Remember for coal miners? He left them out to dry. He promised he wouldn’t forget about them., he already did.”
          According to Trading Economics Coal was declining throughout Obama’s presidency.
          That has stopped, For several Trump years production increased dramatically. Currently it is above 2016.

          “Obama replaced all appointments at the beginning of his term which is customary.”
          Trump did not appoint Berman. It is customary for the president to replace court appointed US attorney’s.

          “Trump waited till near the end of his term and removed an attorney in the middle of an investigation involving a close ally. That’s a very sharp distinction.”
          If democrats think that is actually true – then investigate.
          Properly – not the farce that you did for the impeachment.
          Call real witnesses, back up your subpeona’s allow real cross examiniation. Do it in public as much as possible.
          Provide transcripts quickly so they can be used on subsequent witnesses.
          I have no problem with oversite.

          But an accusation is not true just because you utter it.

          We have been through 4 years of hellishly stupid false accusations.

          It would be wise for people who have been caught lying repeatedly to bite their tongue until they can support their allegations.

          “Trump IS incompetent. He’s demonstrated that well throughout his term. The constant contradictions and backpedaling, and reversals show that. No other president has had such a record.”

          Has he contradicted his campaign promises ?
          You fixate on carefully edited words out of context.
          When you can not be trusted we have to look beyond what you say to acts.

          I do not agree with everything Trump has done. I would not expect 100% agreement with any president.
          But he has done more of what he said he would than any president in my lifetime.

          He has created an incredibly high bar for future presidents – atleast republican ones.
          No other president has such a record.

          1. John, seems you’re prone to long winded mistakes. But you’re entitled to your Trump love fest. It just works a lot better in the context of THE APPRENTICE and not as POTUS. As president, he’s failed, lived by executive order, and will be reversed. The country really couldn’t afford the diversion of his time in office, his time “draining the swamp” but **chugging swamp water**…

            November can’t come quickly enough in a political sense. Things will probably be really sketchy then in other ways related to Trump’s colossal failures around CV 19, but even Lindsey Graham is beginning to think this way.

            1. “John, seems you’re prone to long winded mistakes. But you’re entitled to your Trump love fest. It just works a lot better in the context of THE APPRENTICE and not as POTUS. As president, he’s failed, lived by executive order, and will be reversed. The country really couldn’t afford the diversion of his time in office, his time “draining the swamp” but **chugging swamp water**…”

              The country seemed to have done fairly well. And If as you think you are given power in November – with that will come the obligation to deliver. You will have the advantage of a less hostile press, but that only gets you so far.
              The press was not nice to Obama – though they were nicer than he deserved as he was a failure.

              Regardless you Might get rid of the rhetorical firestorm – though I suspect not. Trump will be replaced.
              Democrats introduced alinsky into politics, it is not coming out so long as it works. It has worked well for democrats and for Trump.
              So I do not expect anything to go back. Civility is dead – democrats killed it. Trump is just the obituary.

              You will still have to govern – successfully.

              We now know that 3% growth is possible (so is 5%, but people do not know that), You will be expected to deliver.
              We know that low unemployment AND high labor force participation are possible.. You will be expected to deliver.
              We know that it is possible to extract ourselves from messes in the mideast. You will have to deliver.
              We know that with US Natural Gas guarantees that Europe is capable of standing up to Russia. You will have to deliver.

              And on and on.

              You can reverse Trump policies and EO’s all you wish. But you will own the results.

              “Things will probably be really sketchy then in other ways related to Trump’s colossal failures around CV 19”

              The studies out of europe have concluded what is pretty close to obvious to most everyone.
              That the C19 cases/deaths throughout the world can be predicted accurately by models for every country by:
              Demographics – the age/health of the population.
              Pre C!9 quality and surge capacity of the healthcare system.
              The latitude,
              Diet.

              Notice what is missing ?
              Any mention of any government response at all.
              Nothing that any government did had any effect – beyond possibly dragging a bad situation out.

              Whether you like it or not Trump did not botch C19 – because there was nothing that government could do.

              We have NEVER stopped a respiratory virus once it gets past 2000 people. NEVER.
              We tried to do the impossible using new theories that did not actually work in models, And we failed.
              Trump failed, Cuomo Failed – the only people in the world that did not fail were the swedes – who did not try.
              They realized there was nothing they could do.

              If you are counting on C19 as a major Democrat issue – you are engaged in wishful thinking.

              Yes, If you get a massive 2nd wave in Sept with no vaccine in sight – maybe Trump will be in trouble.
              That is possible, but not likely. If we are seeing a real surge in cases as a consequence of protests – then there will be no consequential 2nd wave.
              If the European study is correct – there will be no consequential 2nd wave.

              Finally though we have not admitted it to ourselves we know how to do C19 right now.
              Do not try to stop it. Protect the elderly and the frail. That is it.

              The other factors for November are:

              The economy. I have said enough already. But that should teriffy democrats. the faster recovery is the bigger the red sweep will be.

              Violence and crime, and chaos. Will what is going on now continue, and who will it hurt most if it does. My prediction is the short term effects have been to Trump. But the long term ones will be to democrats. But maybe I am wrong.

              Durham and similar revelations of Obama era misconduct.
              We should be seeing those results very shortly.
              But I suspect other issues will diminish their effects.

              Nothing is coming from Congress. So Trump has 5 months on center stage.

              Absent a huge spike in Tulsa – Trump is going to have lots of Rallies. And they are going to grow.

              And I know that he fixates on crowds – and so do you. but 11.7M people watched on TV. That is 1 out of every 6 people who voted for him. I did not watch – but alot of people did.
              Maybe the future rallies will draw large crowds. Maybe most will watch on TV. Does it matter ?
              How many people watched the recent (or any) Biden event ?

              Social media is increasingly trying to censor him – that is actually good for him.
              Twitter’s manipulated media check likely drew people to watch the baby parody – which was excellent.
              Regardless, the more the left tries to reign him in the more attractive they make him and the more dug in and certain to vote Trump supporters are.

              This is absolutely going to be a turnout election. Who shows up at the polls.

              Trump supporters have had it easy for 4 years. They are determined and they are starting to get angry, but they have for the most part NOT spent the past 4 years enraged about everything. But they are getting angry now.

              Roberts lousy decision was a blessing in disguise for republicans. – GOP voters come out for judges and SCOTUS, Democrats do not.
              Republicans will be voting for Trump with the expecation that if he wins that he will not only get another SCOTUS appointment, but that he will get to tip the court. Democrats do not get energized over that. And they feel like they had a winning court term and have a false sense of safety.

              The media has about zero trust – so whatever they say or do from now till november means nothing.

              , but even Lindsey Graham is beginning to think this way.

          2. And Trump has violated his campaign promises, as you allude to in your ‘Trump’s fans take him figuratively not literally’ statement. His border fence, his attacks on pre existing conditions, his blowing up of deficits all show this.

            As far as coal goes >> dead technology for reasons having nothing to do with Trump. Here’s a short primer…

            https://www.npr.org/2018/02/23/586236738/coal-jobs-have-gone-up-under-trump-but-not-because-of-his-policies

            World’s changing, John. No amount of MAGA delusion is going to bring it back.

            1. “And Trump has violated his campaign promises, as you allude to in your ‘Trump’s fans take him figuratively not literally’ statement. His border fence, his attacks on pre existing conditions, his blowing up of deficits all show this.”

              No Trump supporters take him seriously not literally – the quite is from Salena Zito a democrat in the press who followed Trump through the rust belt and first reported that something was happening.

              With respect to your list of his purported failures – it is what Trump voters think of those – not you.
              And they think he delivered. That is what seriously but not literally means.

              “As far as coal goes >> dead technology for reasons having nothing to do with Trump. Here’s a short primer…
              https://www.npr.org/2018/02/23/586236738/coal-jobs-have-gone-up-under-trump-but-not-because-of-his-policies

              So What ? You said that coal tanked – it did not. I do not know what the future of coal is.
              We have massive amounts of coal – 3-5 times as much coal reserves globally as oil and gas. It is atleast 30% cheaper.
              But today it is less flexible than NG and it is dirtier.

              Regardless, it is an abundant resource with a well developed supply chain and low cost. But it has problems that need to be solved.
              If we solve those coal will massively spike, and coal jobs will increase slightly.

              But that is not what matters regarding the election. What matters is what voters think.
              Do miners, their families, the people who live in coal states, think Trump stands by them or is screwing them.

              Democrats owned these voters for decades. trump stole them. there is no indications that Democrats are getting them back.
              There is no indication there support is flagging. The same is true of Rustbelt blue collar voters.

              Now Republicans have a future problem, these are Trump voters – not republicans. Tucker Carlson might speak for them. Lindsey Graham does not.

              World’s changing, John. No amount of MAGA delusion is going to bring it back.

  2. Prof Turley’s most telling comment is — “Why do you keep hiring people that you believe are wackos and liars?” Apparently this “genius” President has no ability whatsoever to evaluate potential “hires.”

    1. This argument applies to every president that has ever hired people and regreted those hirings.

      As to why ? That is simple, and obvious specifically in the Bolton case.

      Bolton has always been regarded as one of the great minds with respect to consenservative foreign policy.
      But when he agreed to work for Trump he promised two things. Not to stab him in the back, and to advance the foriegn policy objectives that Trump was elected to fullfill – NOT his own.

      Bolton was free to say “I can not do that”.

      What he was not free to do was to accept the position as NSA, and work to undermine the very policies Trump was elected to acheive.

      Trump is correct – Bolton is a liar. He lied when he accepted the position as NSA and then worked to undermine the policies Trump was elected to acheive.

      Bolton’s remarks about nearly starting a war with Iran as especially telling.

      We have heard from not only Bolton, but Mattis, and the whole army that testified in the impeachment hearings that the opposed Trump’s foreign policy.

      That is fine. They are free to do so. FROM THE OUTSIDE. If you work for the president, you work for their agenda, not yours.
      If you do not, you are dishonorable, and a liar – and possibly a whacko.

      These people are not dishonorable because of their views on foreign policy.
      They are dishonorable because they agreed to advance the ones Trump was elected to fullfill and they were lying about that and sought to undermine them.

      We can have a public debate over the merits of Bolton’s or Mattis’s foreign policy as compared to Trump.

      But the majority of americans support Trump’s. We are glad we are not at war with Iran. We are glad we have fewer troops in conflict accross the world.

      We elected George Bush on that promise – Bush lied. We elected Obama on that promise – Obama lied. We elected Trump on that promise – Trump has mostly kept that promise, but a long list of people he has brought in have lied.

      1. Yes, every President has taken on a few bad apples. But Trump’s hiring “mistakes” far outnumber any other President’s. Moreover, all his defectors assess him pretty much the same way: he is a narcissistic, pompous, self-congratulating idiot who knows nothing and cares nothing about the best interests of the United States. And we can expect that after he is no longer President there will be many exposees by people who stayed the course with who will say the same thing. Their explanations for why they did not quit is that they were trying to keep him from total self-destruction. We may even believe their excuses.

        1. “Yes, every President has taken on a few bad apples. But Trump’s hiring “mistakes” far outnumber any other President’s.”
          Maybe true. Maybe not. I am not sure that is important. But if you think it is perhaps you can back that up.

          “Moreover, all his defectors assess him pretty much the same way:”
          So ?

          “he is a narcissistic, pompous, self-congratulating idiot who knows nothing and cares nothing about the best interests of the United States.”
          Sounds like a spot on description of Bolton. I think Bolton is quite smart – but he is also every thing you say Trump is.

          “And we can expect that after he is no longer President there will be many exposees by people who stayed the course with who will say the same thing.”
          WE went through this nonsense with the collusion nonsense.

          “Have you no shame ?”

          Can we get past the tin foil hat conspiriacy nonsense “There will be proof, but it is just being hidden” ?

          “Their explanations for why they did not quit is that they were trying to keep him from total self-destruction. We may even believe their excuses.”

          And yet, he has a pretty long list of accomplishments. And most everything he has accomplished is DESPITE the intereference of the people you cite.

          You do not have to like those accomplishments – but you can not deny that they occured.

          I did not vote for Trump, and I am not likely to in 2020.

          But I can grasp that he has appointed the most libertarian slate of judges EVER. Perfect ? No.
          But I doubt Gary Johnson could have appointed judges I would like better.

          He has cut regulations more effectively than anyone since Carter – and against incredible opposition.

          He has not started a foreign war – unlike every president since Carter.

          He has actually reduced US military conflict.

          Last I checked on Trading economics the todate average Growth rate – even after the C19 crash, is better than Obama’s average growth and atleast as Good as Bush’s.
          And we are in the midst of a recovery that is beating all expectations.

          He has restores the balance of power in the Mideast, ending the stupid Iran nonsense.

          Many – not all of his pardon’s are exemplary – Obama could have done that Trump did.

          He has passed criminal justice reform – it could be much better, But Obama did nothing.

          He has substantially improved our tax structure – not perfectly, but substantially better than what preceded it.

          Those are all things I support. Pretty good for a “narcissistic, pompous, self-congratulating idiot who knows nothing and cares nothing about the best interests of the United States.”
          Please sir, can I have more/

          He has made and kept other promises that I am more equivocal on

          He has made the trade deals he promised – while I oppose protectionism and his use of protectionist leverage,
          the end results of most of the deals has been positive.

          He has contained China, economically and militarily.

          His wall is under construction.

          He has reduced illegal immigration dramatically.

          I may not agree with all of his policies, but I am far more inclined to trust the first president possibly since Washington to keep or try to keep most of his campaign promises.

          And I am far less likely to trust those who claim he is an unaccomplished idiot.

          Clearly things are not so merely because you say so.
          So why should you be trusted ?

          1. John say, “ Yes, every President has taken on a few bad apples. But Trump’s hiring “mistakes” far outnumber any other President’s.”
            Maybe true. Maybe not. I am not sure that is important. But if you think it is perhaps you can back that up.”

            If you’re not sure it is important then you’re not really paying attention. That’s where trump’s actual proof of trump’s incompetence. With his boasting of “he hires the very best”’ because “he’s a stable genius”. The mountain of evidence obviously lends credibility to the claim he’s incompetent.

            He has the highest turnover of any presidential cabinet in history. That’s not a “maybe true”. That’s actually true. There’s no ambiguity.

            Blaming Obama on “doing nothing” leaves out the fact that Obama had to contend with a hostile congress. Republicans pledged not to allow anything Obama proposed to pass. Turbo on the other hand has a subservient congress dominated by loyal republicans. The comparison couldn’t be more stark.

            1. “If you’re not sure it is important then you’re not really paying attention.”
              Why must I treat something as important just because you do ?

              “That’s where trump’s actual proof of trump’s incompetence.”
              I asked how, and you still have not answered.

              “With his boasting of “he hires the very best”’ because “he’s a stable genius”.”
              Politicians boast – so what ? I can list plenty of nonsense from a long list of democrats.
              The fact that the MSM and the left have fixated on tecasting every word Trump utters as some existential threat,
              just means you have lost touch the reality.

              “The mountain of evidence obviously lends credibility to the claim he’s incompetent.”
              Then you can produce that evidence.

              “He has the highest turnover of any presidential cabinet in history.”
              Again – maybe, maybe not. The left and MSM have been caught in egregious lies over the past 4 years.
              The price for that is credibility and integrity.

              Why am I to beleive anything you say ?

              Was Carter Page a russian agent ? Hint: he was a US asset.
              Was the Trump campaign spied on ?
              Did Horowitz determine that By Jan 2017 the Cross Fire Huricane investigation was dead ? There were no credible allegations.
              There was nothing to investigate – and yet, you, the press, the left, democrats continued this farce foaming and frothing right to today.

              Why are you to be beleived – about anything ?

              “At long last, have you no shame ?”

              “That’s not a “maybe true”. That’s actually true. There’s no ambiguity.”
              Then you can prove it. I do not have any reason to trust you.

              Regardless, I care little if Trump cashiers his cabinet on a daily basis.
              I care what is accomplished. And what is not accomplished – often even not doing stupid things is very important.

              “Blaming Obama on “doing nothing” leaves out the fact that Obama had to contend with a hostile congress.”
              Like Trump has had strong support from either party ?
              Regardless, I can “Blame Obama” for what he HAS done. Obama was a poor president.

              Here is Adam Smith on what government must do to bring about prosperity

              Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice; all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things. All governments which thwart this natural course, which force things into another channel, or which endeavour to arrest the progress of society at a particular point, are unnatural, and to support themselves are obliged to be oppressive and tyrannical.

              Obama had an easy job. He took office at the bottom of a recession, a strong recovery would have occured had he done nothing.
              We had the weakest recovery since the great depression. Trump has already proven that was not “the new normal”.
              Regardless, there is a clear pattern. Both the great depresssion and the great recession were failed progressive republicans followed by interventionist progressive democrats.

              Obama was a failure as president.

              XFH was the closest thing the US has seen to a coup ever. How deeply Obama was involved has not been established yet.
              But he was involved. Regardless the fish rots from the head.

              Republicans did not concoct Fast & Furrious – illegal gun running. They did not obstruct investigation. The Republicans did not sick the IRS on people based on political viewpoint. Republicans did not cause the state department to be unprepared for a predicted terrorist attack on a mideatern US consulate on the aniversary of 9/11 that resulted in the death of a US ambassador. Republicans did not cause the Obama administration to lie about it. Republicans did not invade Libya, or Syria after promising to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
              Republicans did not strike a lousy deal with a nation that exports terroism. Republicans did not ignore the rising problem of Chinese power. Republicans did not ignore North Korea.

              I can go on. These are not Obama saying stupid things, or making remarks that can be microparsed into bogus offenses.
              These are ACTS. They are choices of the president and democrats that were put into action. They were inarguably bad choices.
              And this is just a short list of them. There are many many more. Many are not crimes or abuses of power – though some are.
              But they are all unforced errors with bad results.

              And you want me to be bent our of shape over cabinet turnover, or what some host says Trump meant in by three words in some long remark ?

              “Republicans pledged not to allow anything Obama proposed to pass.”
              No they opposed specific legislations and actions. And they were prepared to make deals.
              A deal could have been made on immigration – and still can. Americans have been promised “the wall” since the mid eighties.
              A large segment of voters feel betrayed by that. The wall is required by law and has been for almost 4 decades. All that is necessary is funding. It has been clear by some of the bad things that have occurred with those crossing our borders that the current set of laws do not work. Every complaint that has been made of Trump’s inhumane treatment is the consequence of laws that long predate Trump.
              Often the press runs pictures of Trump’s bad conditions that turn out to be Obama. The problem is not new, Both parties have known about it. Why isn’t it fixed. Criminal justice reform was possible during Obama.

              “Turbo on the other hand has a subservient congress dominated by loyal republicans.”
              He does ? then why didn’t the GOP repeal ACA – that has been both a GOP and republican promise for a decade.
              There is very little that Trump has gotten through Congress – less than Obama – though that is probably a good thing.

              Much of Trump’s successes have been in acting unilaterally.

              But he has done so in a way that is radically different.
              Trump has acted Unilaterally to UNDO the unconstitutional or poor choices of Obama.
              He has gotten rid of bad regulations, and gotten the federal government out of the way of peoples lives – and the economy responded.

              “The comparison couldn’t be more stark.”
              Your right. But you are fixated on the hiring and firing of political appointees, I am looking at accomplishments.

              I think Trump needs to fire more people – ALOT MORE.
              We need to hear “Your Fired” from the whitehouse many times a day.
              Cleans house. Much of the federal government is a useless dead weight regardless.

              1. Again, John with the long screed I doubt anyone reads but him, and given what I did read, mostly claiming he doesn’t believe any news , has no ability to ell the difference between most humans – we all have lied and will do so again – and a person who doesn’t care what is a lie and not, and just says whatever gets him through the next hour.

                However, his ignorance on the 2008 crash and regurgitating the same BS the crew that got us there, cried “austerity” then during the worst financial crash since 1929, and once Trump was in cheered, red ink stimulus bills we’ll all b e paying for. Here he says it was the slowest recovery, yaddd, yadd, yadda. If he knew what he was talking about he’d recognize it was a worldwide crash, and the 2 quickest recoveries were Germany and us, as in the US. John doesn’t know economics and he doesn’t know human nature, and is a pitifully poor judge of character. I’m sure this other evidence of ignorance buried in his screed, but who would dig for that?

            2. Where is the part of your response that provided evidence to support what you have said ?

              Why am I to trust you ?

  3. Chicken hawks gonna chicken hawk. The walrus shouts forward as he sits in the rear with the gear.
    I bet the leftist comrades just love Bolton now but not so much when he was cheerleading some war under a different president.

  4. Okay, not getting into the legal weeds at all here. But why is it that there isn’t any more confidentiality between attorney and client (such as between Cohen and Trump), and between close presidential advisors and presidents? In a previous life as a consultant, I thought nothing of signing NDAs to protect my clients’ financial, strategic and other vital information, and even today, years later, I disclose nothing. When I worked on classified information as government employee or contractor, I was required to keep secret all that I learned or saw, and years later, I disclose nothing.

    People may cheer all these previous attorneys and advisors who write tell-all books and blab about all in interviews, but if I were a future president or indeed anyone in a position of power who counts on advisors, I’d wonder if I could ever trust anyone again. Certainly, this affects future policy and decisions in government and private industry.

    1. I have always disagreed with Bolton, but I used to respect him and give much of what he said serious though.

      But as you noted, he has failed at a duty that he owed Trump.

      I do not trust him any more.

      In fact he has failed at multiple duties – including ones to the american people.

      Trump was elected based on specific promises regarding foreign policy.

      Those are not just Trump’s policies – those are the policies the voters chose.

      Bolton promised to work to acheive them and then actually worked to undermine them.

      He not only betrayed Trump, but also the country.

      That is not honorable.

  5. Few
 observers believed
 Trump
 would
 win,
 and,
 as
 with
 Robert
 Dole’s
 failed
 1996 campaign
 against
 Bill
 Clinton,
 Trump’s
 pre-election
 preparations
 were modest,
 reflecting
 the
 impending
 doom.


    In
 comparison
 with
 Hillary’s operation,
which
 resembled 
 a
large 
army 
on 
a 
certain 
march 
toward 
power, Trump’s 
seemed 
staffed 
by 
a 
few 
hardy 
souls 
with 
time
 on
 their
hands

    John Bolton from the Introduction, “The Room Where it Happened”
    https://johnsmosby.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/bolton-document.pdf

    Hillary Clinton’s well greased, flushed with her cash, elites at the DNC lost to a clown like Trump.

    They think they will win with Biden in November

    America is insane

    1. They might win with Biden. The broad public’s reaction to events is something I don’t understand.

      1. Absurd, let’s explore this.

        A global pandemic hits and creates an unprecedented crisis. Trump denies the crisis, then halfheartedly acknowledges it; only to undermine all the health experts in his own administration. At one point Trump even muses out loud that injecting bleach might have benefits. What’s more, Trump goes out of his way to promote a ‘miracle drug’ that has now been thoroughly discredited. Then, when things couldn’t seemingly get any worse, Trump antagonizes the left with threats to shoot looters which results in, you guessed it, wholesale looting in major cities. Then, as recently as Saturday night, Trump tells his pathetic rally that he advised health officials to slow down virus testing to the stats don’t look so bad. This was a ‘joke’, of course! Like the bleach joke. But somehow the ‘humor’ isn’t funny under pandemic conditions.

        And now comes Commenter Absurd to tell us he cant understand why Trump is tanking in the polls! One supposed PJ Media has failed Mr Absurd.

  6. Who wants to read this boring screed. Let the Trump haters waste their $20 bills on it. I won’t even bother with the free link. I am busy watching the paint dry

    1. Actually, it seems well-written, but it comes across to me as one of those “Trump isn’t one of us really smart Washington types who know all about this government stuff!”

      Which far from being a flaw, is a feature in my humble opinion.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. I’ve seen a review which contends that it’s wretchedly edited and has reams of extraneous and trivial material in it. He worked for Trump for just 17 months and there wasn’t anything going on nearly as consequential as what was up 50 years ago, so he shouldn’t be writing Kissinger’s memoirs. The story of the Trump years has in the main been gross misconduct on the part of the media, the Democratic Party, the courts, and elements of the permanent government. There won’t for decades be an academic treatment of it that isn’t accompanies with corrupt framing, because the current generation of the professoriate is shot through with people who have little integrity.

        From what I can tell about Bolton, he’s bounced back and forth for 40-odd years between discretionary appointments in the federal government and Washington BigLaw firms. I am puzzled as to why he was placed in senior foreign policy positions ca. 1989 given that he was not a young man his previous employment history was distant from that, but the Bush types seem to do things like that. He calls himself a ‘Goldwater conservative’, but half the positions he held were positions Goldwater himself likely would have eliminated had he his druthers.

        His daughter’s interesting. She’s about 35 and lives outside of Nashville. She went to engineering school and currently works for Nissan. Not many lady gearheads in this world, and I’ll wager you very few from among the children of Washington’s fancy people.

      2. Mattis wrote a similar book.

        Essentially a “Trump’s foreign policy is not my foreign policy”.

        He argued elequently for a different foreign policy a different view of the US relation to the world.

        But that was not the foreign policy that voters chose.

        It is not that Bolton and Mattis disagree with Trump.

        It is that they took important jobs that required them to committing to eneact Trump’s policies, and they chose instead to undermine them.

  7. John Bolton won’t make a dime on the book as to profits for his pocket. The most popular links aggregator website “library genesis” provides numerous links to PDF, EPUB, MOBI electronic editions.

    In this day of being immoral, full of “rage” and consumed with bottomless pride, it is a race to see who can be more evil, more duplicitous, more scoundrel-like than the next person.

    Bill Clinton set us on this path and Trump is determined to be better at Bill Clinton’s nefarious ways than Hillary.

    Meanwhile Baby Boomers pick sides and cheer. Their offspring are too busy looting, rioting and so forth.

    Another day in America……

  8. The book spent months in review and he go verbal confirmation that the book had no classified material.Then a new political appointee with little experience suddenly claimed that it did. This stinks of politics and I don’t think the courts will be fooled. The courts do give the government great deference to classified material, but I don’t think they will this time. Also Trump’s statement that “all conversations with me are classified” confirms that the “classification” issue is about suppression, not security.

  9. I am not an attorney but I am confused at what the administration could have done that they didn’t do to stop the publication. Bolton and everyone knows the rules required to meet the standards used by ALL administrations about classified materials. He and the printer obviously released the material VIOLATING the guidelines he had agreed to. Dr. T – do you think the Administration should have gone to the printer, seized control it and then locked up the printer/Bolton. I know that’s what totalitarians and Democrats try to do to their enemies like they did to Flynn, Papadapoulis, Page, KT Mc Farland, etc. but unlike the Democrats, conservatives believe in the rule of law. It’s disgusting what liberals and Democrats will do.

    1. Re: “what the administration could have done that they didn’t do to stop the publication,” the administration could have filed for a TRO before the publisher printed and distributed copies of the book to booksellers and reviewers. If the administration was concerned, why kind of incompetence led them to wait until the horse was out of the barn?

  10. Yes, Bolton gets is 5 minutes of Fame, like all tell all Ex Trump officials who were fired and then he gets All His $$$$$$$$$$$$ taken away and perhaps some jail time. Perfect for a person who loves WAR. Why he rushed it, perhaps he was encouraged by the Left and the NEO CON never Trumpers. Nobody except the NEO CONS like Bolton

    1. currency234 – the book will not sell if Bolton does not dish the dirt or make up some dirt on Trump.

    2. Not to mention he will get dragged in front of Congress and give testimony under oath, which he refused to do before. Now instead of having Republicans protecting him they will be out to destroy him. This is a really dumb move by a so called intelligent guy.

  11. “Lamberth is wrong that there is not a good option because there is. It would be to let Bolton sell the book, let the critics of President Trump purchase it, and let the federal government keep the profits.”

    Lamberth raised that possibility, so it’s strange to call him “wrong” about it.

    “Trump gets to seize the profits.”

    Nope. The country might seize the profits, but Trump is not the country.

    Fine by me if Bolton is prevented from profiting. He’s cowardly and unpatriotic and should have willingly testified before Congress about material he put in his book and that he’s now talking about in interviews, confirming the first article of impeachment against Trump:
    Transcript of Bolton’s interview with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz:
    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/transcript-john-bolton-interview-abc-news-martha-raddatz/story?id=71287825
    Trump is an astoundingly unfit president. He should have been removed in the impeachment trial. But he wasn’t, and I can only hope that he soundly defeated in November and brings lots of the GOP down with him.

    1. @CTHD “Nope. The country might seize the profits, but Trump is not the country.”

      Are you for real? Do you think Turley meant that Trump would personally get the profits? Did you think that any ready understood it that way?

      You sure spend a lot of time on semantics.

      1. Semantics is the study of meaning. Meanings matter. A lawyer like Turley should be especially attentive to the distinction between the country and the president, and I don’t (and can’t) know how all of his readers interpret it.

  12. Well, I am not buying the book. I do not think I can trust Bolton.

      1. Squeeky – that is nice of Zerohedge to cheat the government out of their money. 😉

  13. Let’s see…do I want to read a book by an author who help sell the American people on “Weapons of Mass Destruction” that cost hundreds of thousands of human lives and trillions of dollars? If your a Trump hater, hell yea!

    1. If Bolton sinks Trump’s ship of state, wonderful. If Trump takes Bolton with him to a watery political grave, even better. They deserve each other…. Venal, greedy, grasping, valuing nothing, knowing not the value of anything!

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