Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The White House sent a letter to John Bolton's lawyer saying the former national security advisor's book contains classified information that must be removed before publishing.
In the letter, obtained by news outlets including NBC News and Politico, a National Security Council aide told Bolton's lawyer, Charles Cooper, that a preliminary review of the manuscript appeared to contain "significant amounts of classified information" including some at the top-secret level.
"Under federal law and the nondisclosure agreements your client signed as a condition for gaining access to classified information, the manuscript may not be published or otherwise disclosed without the deletion of this classified information," the letter stated.
The letter was dated Jan. 23, days before a New York Times report that a manuscript of Bolton's book said President Donald Trump told Bolton that about $400 million in aid to Ukraine, at the center of his impeachment trial, would not be released until Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
An attorney for Bolton said it was clear the Times somehow obtained the contents of the book as a result of the review process.
Trump on Wednesday sent a series of tweets criticizing Bolton and describing the book as "nasty and untrue."
He has also denied that the conversation with Bolton ever happened.
On Monday, at least two Republican senators indicated the report may persuade some key members of their party to allow witnesses to be called for Trump's impeachment trial.