Bolton Rips House Impeachment as ‘Grossly Partisan,’ Claims Testimony ‘Would Have Made No Difference’ in Acquittal
Former Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton threw cold water on the impact of his own potential testimony in the Senate trial of President Donald Trump, telling an audience that it “would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome.”
Bolton, who was infamously not called to testify before the Senate, has come under increasing fire of late after continuing to play coy about what he knows about Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine. Instead of speaking out publicly, Bolton has repeatedly teased cryptic hints from his forthcoming book about his time in the White House, and been pilloried for what is seen as a craven attempt to sell more copies.
According to the Associated Press, Trump’s former NSA again tip-toed around his experience working for the president in a public discussion at Vanderbilt University with President Barack Obama’s former NSA, Susan Rice. During the conversation, the arch-conservative Bolton took shots at the House Democrats, claiming they “committed impeachment malpractice” and called the process “grossly partisan.”
Last fall, Bolton publicly said he would refuse to comply with any subpoena from the House unless it was backed by a court order, prompting Democrats to abandon seeking his testimony to avoid a drawn-out legal fight that would stall the impeachment hearings. Bolton then notoriously flip-flopped once the Senate impeachment trial began and an excerpt from his book leaked, which allegedly included the bombshell news that Bolton personally witnessed Trump ordering military aid to Ukraine be withheld until that country announced an investigation into his potential 2020 rival, Joe Biden.
“People can argue about what I should have said and what I should have done,” Bolton told Rice. “I would bet you a dollar right here and now, my testimony would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome.”
Rice, however, seemed to call out Bolton’s highly flexible principles toward telling the public the truth about the president’s possible impeachable conduct.
“I can’t imagine withholding my testimony, with or without a subpoena,” Rice said, per the AP. “I also can’t imagine, frankly, in the absence of being able to provide that information directly to Congress, not having exercised my First Amendment right to speak publicly at a time when my testimony or my experience would be relevant.”
Bolton countered by saying that has refused to speak out on his own because he feared the “implied threat of criminal prosecution” for sharing what could be deemed classified information.
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