The Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into former national security adviser John Bolton’s recently published book about his time serving under President Donald Trump.
The investigation will look into whether Bolton unlawfully disclosed classified information in “The Room Where It Happened,” a highly critical account of his 17-month tenure as Trump’s national security adviser, reported the New York Times.
Bolton has denied those allegation, which administration officials have lodged in unsuccessful attempts to block its publication by Simon & Schuster.
The book confirms some elements of the Ukraine scheme that got the president impeached, although Bolton was never called to testify by Senate Republicans and refused to testify during the House inquiry.
The president has repeatedly called for Bolton’s prosecution, and insulted his former adviser’s intelligence, credibility and reputation.
Attorneys for the National Security Council and the Justice Department have been wary about opening a criminal case against Bolton because Trump’s comments would make such a probe appear to be politically motivated, according to two officials.
A federal judge found Bolton may have broken the law as part of a lawsuit seeking to halt publication filed by the Department of Justice, which eventually opened the investigation.
The Justice Department has convened a grand jury and issued a subpoena for communications records from the publisher.