Last week, news broke that a draft of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s forthcoming book has allegedly been leaked to the New York Times. Democrats have pounced on some of the allegations in the manuscript as ammunition for the impeachment debate.
Now, Bolton has been ordered by his former National Security Council chief of staff, Fred Fleitz, to delay the release of his new book until after the 2020 election.
Fleitz wrote in an op-ed published on Monday that Bolton should wait to release his memoir until after the election because it sets “dangerous precedent” for future presidents.
“Presidents must be able to candidly consult with their advisers without worrying they will leak these discussions to the press or obtain high-dollar book contracts to publish them,” Fleitz argued.
“A book by a former national security adviser ahead of a president’s reelection bid may set a dangerous precedent since it could discourage future presidents from seeking advice from expert advisers on sensitive national security matters.”
Fleitz cited the example that Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates set in 2011 when he stepped down from his post in the Obama administration. Gates wrote about his experiences in that administration in an unflattering way as well, but, as Fleitz emphasizes, Gates did not release the memoir until 2014 so as to not affect the 2012 election.
Bolton has been highly coveted by the Democrats as a witness in the impeachment trial, and the leak of this manuscript has only intensified the calls for the Senate to subpoena the former White House official to testify.
Bolton’s full book, titled The Room Where It Happened, is set to be published on March 17th.