A federal grand jury has issued subpoenas to Simon & Schuster and Javelin, the publisher and literary agent, respectively, of the book by former National Security Adviser John Bolton.
The move is part of a newly launched inquiry by the Department of Justice into whether Bolton illegally published classified information in the book, "The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir." The book released in June, after a district court judge denied the Trump administration's efforts to halt its release over national security concerns.
The administration said Bolton prematurely jumped out of a government-review process meant to prevent publication of classified information and that five different high-ranking national security officials could confirm the book contained classified information. Bolton said he believed the review process was over and that additional review requested by the government was just an attempt to delay the book's release.
Judge Royce Lamberth declined to order the seizure of books already printed and sent across the country, but said Bolton "was wrong" in ending the review process when he did.
"He opted out of the review process before its conclusion," Lamberth wrote on the matter. "Unilateral fast-tracking carried the benefit of publicity and sales, and the cost of substantial risk exposure. This was Bolton's bet: If he is right and the book does not contain classified information, he keeps the upside mentioned above; 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."