Bolton Revelations?

Huh. Someone might want to look into this.

“Ambassador John Bolton Speaks to Press” by The White House is in the Public Domain, CC0

Via the NYT: Trump Tied Ukraine Aid to Inquiries He Sought, Bolton Book Says.

President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.

[…]

Over dozens of pages, Mr. Bolton described how the Ukraine affair unfolded over several months until he departed the White House in September. He described not only the president’s private disparagement of Ukraine but also new details about senior cabinet officials who have publicly tried to sidestep involvement.

For example, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged privately that there was no basis to claims by the president’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani that the ambassador to Ukraine was corrupt and believed Mr. Giuliani may have been acting on behalf of other clients, Mr. Bolton wrote.

Huh.

It is the kind of thing you would think, you know, the Senate currently sitting in an impeachment trial might want to know straight from Bolton’s mouth.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, General, Impeachment
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. gVOR08 says:

    I’ve not been eager for Bolton to testify for fear he’d lie his arse off to keep his Wingnut Welfare slot. But it looks like he’s willing to spill, and by letting this out has kind of locked himself in.

    4
  2. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    It is the kind of thing you would think, you know, the Senate currently sitting in an impeachment trial might want to know straight from Bolton’s mouth.

    But wouldn’t the desire to know depend on whether said Senator(s) were looking to/willing to vote to remove Trump?

    Or am I being too cynical?

    6
  3. Kathy says:

    If he’s willing to tell all in a book, what rational objection couldn’t he possibly had for not testifying at the House hearings?

    8
  4. Mister Bluster says:

    President Pud: “John Bolton? Never heard of him…”

    7
  5. Stormy Dragon says:

    It is the kind of thing you would think, you know, the Senate currently sitting in an impeachment trial might want to know straight from Bolton’s mouth.

    At least in terms of the majority, I can assure you this is the kind of thing the Senate very much does NOT want to know about right now. 😉

    9
  6. Teve says:

    Paraphrasing Rick Wilson: Mike Pompeo knows Donald Trump couldn’t find Ukraine on a map if it was labeled with a U and a picture of a crane.

    CNN segment busts out laughing.

    10
  7. JKB says:

    Amusing way they frame it “White House” when the draft was submitted to the NSC for review for classified material. And as such, the draft would be restricted to the relevant NSC staff. So someone on the NSC staff is leaking. Would be amusing if this was part of a mole hunt within the NSC.

    In any case, Bolton testifies, the President asserts executive privilege over some testimony, it all goes to court and we suspend the impeachment trial for a few months till the SCOTUS rules. Of course, during that time, the Senate can call Joe and Hunter to testify as to the predicate for asking the Ukraine to look into the Burisma dealings. Meanwhile, Bernie will lock up the nomination.

    As I said long ago, to remove a president you have to bring along the constitutional majority. Otherwise there will be much unpleasantness, hopefully only at the ballot box, but one never knows.

    2
  8. CSK says:

    The Revenge of John Bolton.
    Trump is stupid. He thought he could treat Bolton the way he treated his ex-wives, teenaged beauty contestants, contractors, and other employees–like used Kleenex.

    9
  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It is the kind of thing you would think, you know, the Senate currently sitting in an impeachment trial might want to know straight from Bolton’s mouth.

    You know what would get Republicans off their asses and investigating this? A few dead Americans. Maybe an ambassador, a Foreign Service professional, and a couple ex Navy Seals working for the CIA.

    They’d probably run dozens of investigations of it. And if they found some sloppy handling of a few intelligence communications they’d probably want to investigate that too.

    ///////////s////////////s/////////////s////////////////s///////s///////////////s///////s////

    2
  10. mattbernius says:

    @JKB:

    Amusing way they frame it “White House” when the draft was submitted to the NSC for review for classified material.

    You realize that the Nation Security Council is a White House office, right?

    The NSC is chaired by the President. Its regular attendees (both statutory and non-statutory) are the Vice President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

    Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/

    Ultimately, this is still further proof of what we’ve know since September. The challenge is that the President, in continuing to lie about what happened, is preventing Republicans from the easiest path out: i.e. saying what he did was wrong but doesn’t rise to the level of impeachable.

    Unfortunately for them, since the President refuses to budge on this, they are force to continue to pretend that it was “a perfect call” and there couldn’t possibly be a “quib pro quo” no matter how much evidence to the contrary mounts.

    Frankly, it couldn’t happen to more deserving people.

    One other awkward fact for the President’s team is that, as part of their opening statement, they stated no evidence existed that the President linked aid to an investigation of the Bidens. Which means either (a) they were unaware of the contents of Bolton’s book or (b) they knew and still lied about it.

    Neither one speaks particularly well of them.

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  11. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @JKB:

    the Senate can call Joe and Hunter to testify as to the predicate for asking the Ukraine to look into the Burisma dealings.

    Are you saying that the Bidens were involved in Trump’s Bribery Scheme, the associated Wire Fraud, or the subsequent Obstruction? Because that is the only relevant testimony.
    Even if the Biden’s were as crooked as Trump…who is an un-indicted co-conspirator in Election Fraud and who had to pay Millions after he stole charity money meant for Veterans…it really has no bearing on the Impeachment Case.

    22
  12. Sleeping Dog says:

    Senate Republicans
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmzsWxPLIOo

    In many ways the McConnell-Tiny strategy of trying to sweep this under the rug is idiocy. Over the coming months and particularly during the campaign there will be a constant drip of revelations that will keep the whole L’affaire Ukraine simmering in view of the voters making Rethug legislators looking more wanton that they already do.

    It makes much more sense to get as much out now, vote to acquit and move on. If witnesses are called and more evidence introduced, it is likely that more Rethug senators will vote to convict, but not 20, most likely no more than 5-6.

    5
  13. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    It makes much more sense to get as much out now, vote to acquit and move on. If witnesses are called and more evidence introduced, it is likely that more Rethug senators will vote to convict, but not 20, most likely no more than 5-6.

    If 4 Republican senators vote to convict, assuming all 47 Democrats also vote that way, it would hurt Trump’s vanity.

    We can’t have that. he might Twit something mean.

    3
  14. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    This Bolton revelation provides Republicans the cover they need to finally put Country over Trump.
    Yet there is scant chance of that happening. Republicans are indicting themselves of participating in the Cover-Up.
    Likely all their efforts going forward will go into smearing Bolton and trying to find out who leaked the Manuscript. Because that’s what important, don’t you know.

    9
  15. drj says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Even if the Biden’s were as crooked as Trump…it really has no bearing on the Impeachment Case.

    It doesn’t even matter if the Bidens are/were corrupt. As long as it hurts the libs it’s all good.

    I mean, look at what @JKB wrote:

    In any case, Bolton testifies, the President asserts executive privilege over some testimony, it all goes to court and we suspend the impeachment trial for a few months till the SCOTUS rules.

    He doesn’t care if Bolton’s claims are true. It simply doesn’t matter because: a) the President can assert executive privilege; b) the GOP-dominated SC won’t care to rule quickly anyways.

    Of course, during that time, the Senate can call Joe and Hunter to testify as to the predicate for asking the Ukraine to look into the Burisma dealings.

    Again, it doesn’t matter if the Bidens did anything untoward. As long as McConnell can do a Benghazi or two it’s all good.

    Meanwhile, Bernie will lock up the nomination.

    Eyes on the prize: the 2020 elections were the socialist will, of course, be soundly defeated.

    This is cynism, pure and simple. It’s not even that JKB hates his country. He just doesn’t care.

    13
  16. Joe says:

    The Republicans have failed to hold the only line they can: that even if Trump did this it’s still not impeachable. Even uttering the statement “insufficient evidence” is a set up because Bolton has now and others will subsequently continue to disclose evidence that would have been available to Congress if the administration had not obstructed its earlier disclosure.

    6
  17. Jax says:

    @JKB: This is the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump, not Joe or Hunter Biden. They played no material part in the withholding of military aid to Ukraine, they hold no position in Trump’s administration, therefore their testimony is irrelevant.

    13
  18. Mikey says:

    President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats

    SMOCKING GUN!

    7
  19. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    As I said long ago, to remove a president you have to bring along the constitutional majority. Otherwise there will be much unpleasantness, hopefully only at the ballot box, but one never knows.

    Tell you what, why don’t you blow your thinly-veiled threats right out of your ass? Your president is a corrupt treasonous piece of garbage, now confirmed by John Bolton. If you gave the slightest fraction of a fuck about your country you’d join calls for his removal. But this is and always has been about your hates, your resentments, your weakness, your fragility. You care no more about this country than your psychopath cult leader.

    21
  20. mattbernius says:

    @Joe:

    The Republicans have failed to hold the only line they can: that even if Trump did this it’s still not impeachable.

    Again, the problem that Republicans had was there was absolutely no way to “hold that line” because the President prevented them from doing so.

    To hold that line would inherently be to admit that the President *did something wrong.* And Trump’s thin skin can’t allow that. And he’s made it clear that anyone who takes that position will be attacked by him.

    So they have to find some way to pretend that it was “the perfect call” (i.e. no quib pro quo). The issue is that to deny that is to deny reality and the longer this goes on, the harder it is to escape that reality.

    Additionally, Trump could make this all go away by admitting that he did pressure Ukraine and doing so is within his power as President. Moderate Republican senators could then huff about it and get to say while this was a bad thing to do, it doesn’t rise to the level of removal. Those closer to the President could defend it as nothing wrong. Everything moves forward without needing to call witnesses and not feeling like a cover-up.

    But Trump’s fundamental insecurity won’t allow even that.

    #SoMuchWinning.

    8
  21. grumpy realist says:

    Makes one wonder what President Trump would have to do in order to get the Republican Senators to vote against him.

    I can only hope that during the next election each one of them gets attacked for his lack of integrity and unwillingness to uphold the rule of law when it comes to policing the President. (At least when the POTUS is a Republican. If they stick around until another Democratic President gets elected, I’m sure we’ll see a 180-degree turn in a nanosecond.)

    So much for ethics…..

    7
  22. MarkedMan says:

    This Bolton revelation provides Republicans the cover they need to finally put Country over Trump.

    Not going to happen. If there was any chance they would put country over Trump they would not still be in the Republican Party.

    Some weeks ago I heard two of the so called “leaners” say, without even the slightest hint of self awareness, that they were unwilling to identify any presidential actions that went too far until they knew what Trump had done. That is everything you need to know about these hand wringers.

    9
  23. Teve says:

    @tribelaw

    A horrible connection if it pans out: On Dec. 30, Trump learned what Bolton’s book would say. Bolton has been pushing war with Iran for years. Iran’s General Soleimani was in US sights for years. Trump suddenly ordered his assassination on Jan. 3, four days after seeing the book.

    6
  24. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    That was hilarious.

    5
  25. Kathy says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Makes one wonder what President Trump would have to do in order to get the Republican Senators to vote against him.

    Raise taxes on the wealthy. The new third rail of US politics.

    Lose support from his base, who are holding the GOP senators’ spines hostage. But then what does Dennison have to do to lose support from his base? Act like a decent man would. he’s just not capable of that.

    4
  26. dmichael says:

    The comments don’t raise the possibility that Bolton himself or someone on his behalf, leaked some of this material from his forthcoming book. A good way to tease it and boost sales. I don’t care that his spokesperson said only the NSC was given the draft. Everyone in this White House lies.

    4
  27. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kathy:
    Republican Senators are holding themselves hostage. If 20 of them did the right thing and removed the pig from the Oval, Trump and Trumpism would evaporate like dew in sunlight. This is not an ideology, Trumpism is just the rage of fragile white people afraid they won’t be able to go on looking down at n—ers. These people are good at losing, their core cultural touchstone is the Lost Cause. So the Senate could be free, but instead they’re insisting on keeping their hostage-taker in power. #Cult45.

    9
  28. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    This was kind of tragically humorous before. Everyone knows what Trump did, but Republicans anxious to cling to their power were willing to embrace lies and mythical thinking and conspiracy theories.
    Now this has become hilarious. I mean…it spells the end of our system of Government, because once Republicans name Trump King…we won’t be able to get Democracy and the Rule of Law back. But to watch supposedly principled people abandon all principle in service of someone like Trump? To see Lindsey Graham in a fit of vapors over Bolton. It is truly funny.

    5
  29. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    The next crap to come in this is that it will only be Bolton testifying…when it should be:
    Bolton
    Mulveney
    Guiliani
    Parnas and Fruman
    Pompeo
    Digenova and his wife Toensing
    Perry
    Put them ALL under oath.

    7
  30. mattbernius says:

    Also, for those who appreciate a small dose of irony, a number of conservative outlets that regularly complain about cancel culture sure seem to be engaged in a very aggressive de-platforming of John Bolton.

    Of course, there are also more than a few left leaning pundits who suddenly have discovered a new appreciation for him as well.

    5
  31. Mike in Arlington says:

    The republicans are in a tough place.
    If they stick with defending trump, they don’t know how much he’s actually done. He’s incompetent and corrupt (I mean, how do you build a casino in Atlantic City, one of the most famously corrupt cities on the east coast, WITHOUT involving organized crime?), so there’s more to come, but they don’t know how much more there is, either past or future. But by defending him, they’re likely to be associated with his crimes and misbehavior. There is some indicators that they are aware of this problem:
    https://twitter.com/maggieNYT/status/1221789190725283840

    If they vote to remove, then a large part of the republican base will revolt and not vote for republicans (either 3rd party or just not vote). There’s the old adage: the democrats hate their base, the republicans are scared of their base. The second half of that saying has only grown more and more true as time goes on.

    4
  32. Gustopher says:

    Hell hath no fury like a mustache scorned and needing to pimp a book.

    3
  33. DrDaveT says:

    @JKB:

    So someone on the NSC staff is leaking.

    OK, who had “2 hours” in the pool for when the first Trumpling would drop by to try to deflect from Trump’s actions with a process foul claim…?

    6
  34. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @DrDaveT:
    @JKB:

    So someone on the NSC staff is leaking.

    Actually…I’d bet on the Publisher. But who cares? Who leaked it has absolutely no bearing on the charge that Trump tied the aid to an announcement of an investigation of the Bidens.

    4
  35. Jax says:

    You can always count on a Trumpkin to point a finger at ANYTHING but “the thing that shall not be seen”, which is, in this case and most others, that Trump is guilty as all hell. Who cares if someone is leaking?! Doesn’t change his guilt!!!

    3
  36. TheLounsbury says:

    @Kathy: That’s easy enough, quite willing to bugger his former colleagues for profit, but reluctant to do so where political blow-back

    That’s perfectly rational. It may not be defensible, but it is perfectly rational.

    1
  37. Mikey says:

    @JKB:

    So someone on the NSC staff is leaking.

    Bolton provided “close associates” with copies of his manuscript. It’s far more likely one of them, at Bolton’s direction, provided the relevant excerpts to the New York Times.

    But keep pushing the idiotic and thoroughly debunked “deep state” horseshit, you treason-enabling cultist. At this point you’ve got nothing else left.

    6
  38. mattbernius says:

    Rush Limbaugh, today, said the quiet part out loud:

    Rush Limbaugh today: “I’ve had dinner with John Bolton a couple times. I’ve met him two or three times, and if this passage in the book is true, and this is actually what he’s intending, it’s not the John Bolton I thought I knew, this kind of disloyalty.”

    https://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1221878459015802881

    If the passage in the book is true, then it was *disloyal* of Bolton to actually share that Trump was extorting the Ukrainians to investigate political rivals.

    Rush isn’t suggesting that said extortion was wrong. It was Bolton’s disloyalty that’s the issue.

    Never again can anyone who supports these eff’ers claim any sort of moral high ground.

    7
  39. Mikey says:

    @mattbernius: As if we needed another piece of evidence the modern GOP’s loyalty is to Trump rather than to America.

    1
  40. CSK says:

    @Mikey: I think it’s more about keeping a Republican in the presidency. If this impeachment were happening after Trump’s reelection, say in March 2021, most of them would give Trump the boot with great pleasure.

    5
  41. CSK says:

    @mattbernius:
    Limbaugh is the ultimate bottomfeeder.

    3
  42. Jax says:

    @CSK: I asked a Trumpie friend this today, and wondered why he wasn’t ready to accept President Pence, because he’d actually advance the “conservative agenda” much more quickly and with less drama that Trump.

    “And he is doing everything I voted him to do. I didn’t vote in a Saint. I voted in someone with enough balls to change things up. Not a president that will bend over every time times gets tough. Or bend over and take it in the ass with other countries. And I am voting for him again in 2020. KAGA”

    I don’t even know how to fix that kind of disinformation. It doesn’t matter what he’s shown, from sources even he trusts.

    1
  43. Mikey says:

    @Jax: There’s nothing you can do, unless you have mastered the process of cult deprogramming.

  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax:

    Who cares if someone is leaking?! Doesn’t change his guilt!!!

    Which, ironically enough, is what law and order conservatives say when charges are dropped in a criminal matter. (Excluding white collar crimes, of course.)

    ETA: And the ironic thing about your Trumpy friend (and the rest of the GOP) is that they can’t connect all of the dots for “Trump out, Pence in equals no change” and see the picture of the puppy. Hmmm…