Newsletter: The battle over Bolton’s book

John Bolton, President Trump’s former national security advisor
The Justice Department is weighing whether to charge John Bolton, President Trump’s former national security advisor, with disclosing classified information.
(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

The Trump administration is seeking a restraining order to block John Bolton’s book that is highly critical of the president.


The Battle Over Bolton’s Book

Federal prosecutors are weighing whether to criminally charge former national security advisor John Bolton with disclosing classified information in his upcoming White House memoir, and the Justice Department has ramped up its legal campaign by seeking a temporary restraining order to block publication of the 500-page book, which is being billed as a scathing rebuke of President Trump, according to court documents and people familiar with the matter.

It is not clear how successful such a legal fight would be.

Still, details are coming out. The Wall Street Journal published a lengthy excerpt of the book in which Bolton describes how Trump tried to enlist China’s president, Xi Jinping, to help his reelection effort. The book, titled “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” is also in the hands of journalists who have begun to chronicle its findings in stories.

Trump lashed out at Bolton on Twitter, calling him “wacko” and “a dope” and saying the “book is made up of lies & fake stories.”

Outrage and Suspicion


The Antelope Valley has a substantial Black population, but the area’s history of racism has fueled deep suspicions in the weeks since Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old Black man, was found hanging from a tree near City Hall in Palmdale.

Authorities were quick to say it was suicide. But Fuller’s family doesn’t buy it. Neither do many of the area’s Black residents, who describe being confronted by skinheads, receiving racial insults and getting pulled over by police so many times they avoid certain streets. Five years ago, Los Angeles County reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations that sheriff’s deputies had systematically harassed and discriminated against Black people and Latinos in Lancaster and Palmdale.

Under public pressure, the investigation is open. State Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said his office was sending independent investigators to Palmdale to review the sheriff’s investigation and potentially conduct its own.

An FBI spokeswoman said that the agency would monitor that investigation, as well as one into the death of 38-year-old Malcolm Harsch. On May 31, he was found hanging from a tree in Victorville, prompting questions, public outcry and a deeper investigation.

Meanwhile, Fuller’s half brother was fatally shot by L.A. County sheriff’s deputies in Kern County on Wednesday afternoon, according to law enforcement sources and an attorney for the family. Details about the shooting were unclear.

More About Race in America


— The former Atlanta police officer who shot Rayshard Brooks in the back after he resisted arrest and ran off outside a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant will be charged with felony murder, according to a Georgia district attorney.

Republican Senate leaders have introduced a police reform bill that includes greater disclosure of police use of force and no-knock warrants, and financial incentives for local law enforcement departments to ban chokeholds.

— Quaker Oats is retiring the Aunt Jemima image and name: “We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype.” Mars, owner of the Uncle Ben’s brand, quickly followed suit. One marketing professor says the brands were “selling whiteness.”

Oakland launched a hate-crime investigation after knotted ropes resembling nooses were found hanging from trees around a city lake, according to a statement from Mayor Libby Schaaf.

— How to cover the protests? For L.A.’s top Black radio hosts, you make noise, and listen.

Threatened by an Unusual Alliance

In California, county public health officers are increasingly being targeted by an unusual alliance: anti-vaccine protesters and those critical of mask requirements. What’s more, the protests are taking place outside these officials’ homes.

Online, mask protesters say their calls for such rallies are gaining traction. For many, it’s raising alarms. Calling the protests an act of intimidation, Kat DeBurgh of the Health Officers Assn. of California said she’s worried. Seven local health officials have announced they are leaving their posts, some of which were previously planned retirements, DeBurgh said. “I would not be surprised if there were more.”

Recent personal attacks against health officers include disclosing personal details — whom they date, where they live — along with doctored photos depicting them with Hitler-esque mustaches. For proponents of last year’s law to increase state oversight of vaccine medical exemptions, it all feels too familiar.

More Top Coronavirus Headlines

— In China, they aren’t just vaccine volunteers. They were “revolutionary comrades in arms,” nearly 200 mostly young, brave souls putting their bodies on the line as the country seeks to lead the world in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine.

— Across Asia, governments that have brought the coronavirus under control are keeping many social distancing measures in place for the foreseeable future, urging residents to guard against a resurgence of the virus that is raging in other countries.

— Is it safe to shop and eat out yet? We assess the risk.

— Graduations and proms aren’t the same this year. So we put on a virtual prom.


On June 19, 1973, the Los Angeles Times celebrated the 20th birthday of “American Bandstand” in its pages. It was a Philadelphia show, but became popular nationally after radio DJ Dick Clark took over hosting duties. ABC moved production to Los Angeles in 1964.

According to The Times, “On any given day 500 kids lined up the streets outside of the double red doors, clamoring to get into the studio. He and the regular dancers normally received 15,000 fan letters a week, and up to 900,000 a week during the national dance contests.” It stayed on air until 1989.

"American Bandstand" celebrates an anniversary
Twenty years and 2,500 miles from its Philadelphia beginning, “American Bandstand” celebrates an anniversary in 1973.
(Mary Frampton / Los Angeles Times)


— L.A. prosecutors say actor Danny Masterson has been charged with three counts of rape involving incidents between 2001 and 2003.

— The Los Angeles Unified School District is suing a metal recycling facility next to Jordan High School in Watts, alleging it has endangered students and teachers by releasing sharp pieces of metal, smoke, fumes and more onto school grounds.

— California will remove a Christopher Columbus statue from the state Capitol rotunda after legislative leaders decided it is out of place “given the deadly impact his arrival in this hemisphere had on indigenous populations.”

— The mayor of the wine country town Healdsburg says she’ll resign after an uproar over her initial failure to address police brutality and racism amid the surging Black Lives Matter movement.

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— Justice Neil M. Gorsuch was Trump’s first choice for the Supreme Court and a conservative’s dream — until he wrote this week’s landmark opinion extending civil rights protections to LGBTQ employees nationwide.

Syria is facing financial ruin as the U.S. imposes fresh sanctions.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández and his wife are the latest world leaders to test positive for COVID-19.

— Workers are preparing the Eiffel Tower for reopening next week after the COVID-19 pandemic led to the iconic Paris landmark’s longest closure since World War II.


Genre shows are having a banner decade, and series like “Stranger Things” are shaping the future of TV.

Imagine Impact, a Los Angeles-based mentorship program, has teamed up with Netflix to develop original content from new screenwriters.

— The Getty Foundation has awarded $2 million in its first wave of relief grants to 80 L.A. arts organizations, including Plaza de la Raza, the Women’s Center for Creative Work, the ONE Archives Foundation and the Underground Museum.

— ABC says the next season of its show “The Rookie,” about a middle-aged newcomer to the LAPD, will focus on police brutality and racism.


Pacific Gas & Electric Chief Executive Bill Johnson promised his company would emerge from bankruptcy a “reimagined utility.” But as PG&E prepares for life after Chapter 11, it’s unclear there’s anything fundamentally different about the utility.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife, Patty Quillin, announced Wednesday morning that they have given $120 million toward scholarships at historically Black colleges and universities — the largest individual donation to the institutions to date.


— Resuming the NBA season has relied on having the ability to combat the coronavirus while continuing games, and on Tuesday evening teams got a look at the battle plan — all 113 pages of it.

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said Wednesday that Colin Kaepernick is on the team’s radar. Kaepernick has been out of the league since 2016, when he started kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

— The entire UCLA football team and other athletes involved in fall sports who live locally can return to campus as soon as Monday as part of a four-phase plan to resume competition.

— More than 120 athletes — including gymnasts Simone Biles and Aly Raisman — are asking to see the results of a federal investigation into how the FBI handled complaints against disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar.

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— The image of a Black man hanging from a tree is the embodiment of American racism in all its ugliness and cruelty. That’s why authorities must leave no stone unturned in investigating the deaths of Malcolm Harsch and Robert Fuller, The Times’ editorial board writes.

— Why are so many people not wearing masks? Columnist Steve Lopez asked them.


— “The pandemic shows us the genius of supermarkets.” (The Atlantic)

— Who invented ice cream? The head of the Gelato Museum in Bologna, Italy, explains. (South China Morning Post)


It can take a sense of humor sometimes to report on the weather in Southern California. For nearly 40 years on NBC4, Fritz Coleman has had to rely on it more than once. Now Coleman, who has a side career as a stand-up comedian, will deliver his final weather report on June 26. “After a year of planning his retirement, Coleman has decided now is the time to enjoy more time with his family, appreciate his good health, and dedicate more time to his comedy,” the station said.

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