The National Security Council notified an attorney for former national security adviser John Bolton last week that the manuscript for Bolton's upcoming book "appears to contain significant amounts of classified information" that must be removed prior to publishing or any other kind of disclosure.
Three days later, the New York Times reported on the details of the unpublished draft.
What are the details?
A letter from NCS official Ellen Knight to attorney Charlies Cooper dated Jan. 23 was obtained by several news outlets on Wednesday.
Knight warned that a preliminary review of the manuscript of the book, reportedly titled, "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir," appears to contain top secret information that could "'cause exceptionally grave harm to the national security' of the United States if disclosed without authorization."
Fox News reporter John Roberts noted on Twitter that the letter "was transmitted 3 days before the @nytimes article came out."
One interesting point with this letter - it was transmitted 3 days before the @nytimes article came out. https://t.co/EcaZGmUixm— John Roberts (@John Roberts)1580322001.0
CBS News reported that "Bolton submitted the manuscript to the NSC on December 30 for a standard prepublication review."
In Knight's letter, she writes, "The manuscript remains under review in order for us to do our best to assist your client by identifying the classified information within the manuscript, while at the same time ensuring that publication does not harm the national security of the United States."
Knight adds, "We will do our best to work with you to ensure your client's ability to tell his story in a manner that protects U.S. national security."
According to the Times article, Bolton claims in his book that President Donald Trump told him "in August that [the president] wanted to continue freezing $392 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including [Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden]."
House Democrats are currently seeking to have the president removed from office over allegations that President Trump withheld aid from Ukraine to try to get dirt on the Bidens.
Following the publishing of the Times story, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) declared it is "increasingly likely" that Republican senators will vote in favor of calling Bolton as a witness in the upper chamber's ongoing impeachment trial.
The Department of Justice has already spoken out disputing reported assertions made by Bolton in his book, and President Trump has heavily criticized Bolton in recent days while calling the book "nasty and untrue."