Saying the proverbial horse is “out of the barn,” a federal judge on Friday questioned his ability to block the release of John Bolton’s memoir, while also raising doubts about whether the former Trump national security adviser had fulfilled his obligation to have the book scrubbed of classified information.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, a more than 30-year veteran of Washington’s federal trial court, noted at the outset of a hearing held over videoconference that Bolton’s memoir had already been printed and distributed widely to bookstores, reviewers and reporters ahead of its planned release on June 23.

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