During an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN's State of the Union, Peter Navarro, a trade adviser for the White House, said that John Bolton could face jail time because of the tell-all book releasing this week. Navarro claimed that Bolton included classified information in the book and that revealing that information could lead to criminal charges.
"First of all, John Bolton has put highly classified information sprinkled throughout a very large book. And he -- I predict this. He will not only not get the profits from that book, but he risks a jail sentence," Navarro told Tapper. "He has done something that is very, very serious in terms of American national security. And he's got to pay a price for that."
Last week, President Donald Trump also asserted that Bolton could face criminal charges for publishing classified information. He stated that Bolton "broke the law" and that "he did not have approval" to publish the information contained in his book.
President Trump attempted to block the publication, but a judge ruled that the book could be published. However, the judge did say that Bolton could still face criminal charges related to the publication of classified information.According to a report put together for Congress by the Congressional Research Service, individuals who publish classified information can face serious jail time. However, the sentence for publishing classified information depends strongly on the intent behind publishing those materials.
If the intent is to give classified information to a foreign government for their benefit, the person who published the material could face life in prison. The sentence is also harsher if the individual publishing the classified information obtained it unlawfully.
Per the same report, anybody who publishes classified information without going through the proper approvals could be found in violation of the Espionage Act, regardless of their intent or whether they legally obtained the information. Individuals who violate the Espionage Act could face up to 10 years in jail and may be ordered to pay significant fines.
The report also stated that the legal consequences for publishing classified information can vary based on what type of information is being published. For example, publishing pictures of U.S. military assets or locations carries a lesser sentence than publishing information about military plans.
It's currently unclear what kind of criminal charges or consequences Bolton could face by publishing his tell-all book. According to CNN, Bolton and his attorney insist that they followed the required review procedures before proceeding with the book's publication.