US President Trump says his former national security advisor John Bolton would pay a "big price" for what he described as an illegal tell-all memoir.

With John Bolton's book already widely shipped to stores for sale next week, Judge Royce Lamberth wrote that it is too late for a restraining order sought by the Trump administration to halt the process.
With John Bolton's book already widely shipped to stores for sale next week, Judge Royce Lamberth wrote that it is too late for a restraining order sought by the Trump administration to halt the process. (AP)

A US judge has denied a request by the Trump administration for an injunction to block publication of a book by President Donald Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton that alleges the president sought China's help to win re-election.

Immediately after the judge's order on Saturday, Trump warned Bolton against releasing classified information in the memoir. 

"While Bolton's unilateral conduct raises grave national security concerns, the government has not established that an injunction is an appropriate remedy," US District Judge Royce Lamberth said in his ruling.

'The damage is done'

The administration had sought a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the publication of "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir," saying it contained classified information and threatened national security.

With the book already shipped to stores for sale next week, Judge Royce Lambert wrote that Bolton appeared to have failed to get written White House agreement that his memoir contained nothing classified.

"While Bolton's unilateral conduct raises grave national security concerns, the government has not established that an injunction is an appropriate remedy," the judge wrote.

But he said an injunction would be too late to stem the harm.

"With hundreds of thousands of copies around the globe, many in newsrooms, the damage is done," Lamberth said.

Trump warns Bolton 

In a tweet shortly after the decision was released, Trump charged again that Bolton was releasing classified information. 

"He must pay a very big price for this, as others have before him," Trump said. "This should never [been allowed] to happen again!!!"

"He likes dropping bombs on people and killing them. Now he will have bombs dropped on him!" Trump added of the famously hawkish Bolton, without elaborating on what action his administration might take.

Trump drew some solace from the judge's rebuke of Bolton.

"BIG COURT WIN against Bolton. Obviously, with the book already given out and leaked to many people and the media," Trump said.

Publishers welcome ruling 

Simon & Schuster, the publishers of Bolton's memoir welcomed the ruling.

"We are grateful that the Court has vindicated the strong First Amendment protections against censorship and prior restraint of publication," they said in a statement.

"He likes dropping bombs on people and killing them. Now he will have bombs dropped on him!" Trump added of the famously hawkish Bolton, without elaborating on what action his administration might take.

Read more: Why Trump wants to block John Bolton’s book from hitting the shelves

Serious allegations on Trump

Bolton's book has drawn wide attention for its withering portrayal of Trump and how politics drove the president's foreign policy. 

Bolton describes Trump as imploring Chinese President Xi Jinping for help in winning his 2020 re-election bid, and he detailed alleged improprieties not addressed in Trump's impeachment trial.

Read more: Trump tries to block book written by former aide, calls him a ‘liar’

Trump-Bolton affair 

Trump ousted Bolton, a foreign policy hawk, last September after 17 months as a national security adviser. 

Even Democrats who pounced on some of Bolton’s anecdotes to condemn the president nonetheless expressed frustration that he had saved them for his book instead of participating in the impeachment case. 

Bolton refused to voluntarily testify in the impeachment inquiry, and the House ultimately moved forward with its case without subpoenaing him.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies