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Trump Falsely Accuses House Democrats of Never Asking John Bolton to Testify. (They Did)

President Donald Trump criticized House Democrats for never asking his former national security advisor John Bolton to testify before impeachment proceedings in the past month in a Monday morning tweet, ignoring the fact that, on January 10th, he told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that he’d use executive privilege to block Bolton’s testimony.

Further, House Congressional members did formally ask Bolton to testify in their impeachment inquiry as reported by The Daily Beast who noted that House investigators “asked him to testify on Nov. 7; and they have asked White House lawyers John Eisenberg and Michael Ellis to testify on Nov. 4.”

Bolton’s specific knowledge of the White House’s dealings with Ukraine is reportedly set to be revealed in a new book plan for release on March 17th. A bombshell New York Times report specifically alleges that Bolton will assert in his book that President Trump told him that the $391 million in congressionally approved military aid was being withheld until Ukraine helped in an investigation into his Democratic rival Joe Biden and his Hunter.

Trump took to Twitter to deny these claims, specifically saying “I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book.”  Roughly six hours later, he then condemned House Democrats for never calling John Bolton to testify before the House led impeachment proceedings. Trump tweeted:

But here’s the thing. During an interview with Ingraham on January 10th, Trump said he would invoke executive privilege to stop former national security adviser John Bolton from testifying before the Senate impeachment trial.

The Fox News host asked Trump: “Why not call Bolton? Why not allow him to testify? This thing is bogus. Why not allow Bolton to testify?”

“No problem other than one thing,” Trump replied. “You can’t be in the White House as president, future, I’m talking about future — any future presidents — and have a security advisor, anybody having to do with security, and legal and other things but especially —”

“Are you going to invoke executive privilege?” Ingraham asked.

“Well I think you have to for the sake of the office,” Trump said.

House Democrats wanted John Bolton to testify but his lawyer refused until Bolton was first ordered by a court to do so. In a late November New York Times report from last year, Peter Baker wrote:

John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser to President Trump who resisted efforts to pressure Ukraine for help against domestic political rivals, dashed any expectation on Tuesday that he would testify soon in the House impeachment investigation in response to a court ruling involving a onetime colleague.

Charles J. Cooper, a lawyer who represents Mr. Bolton, said that a court decision on Monday ordering another former White House official to appear before Congress under subpoena did not apply to Mr. Bolton because of the nature of his job. Mr. Cooper said Mr. Bolton would therefore wait for another judge to rule in a separate case that could take weeks more to litigate.

A curious phenomenon has occurred during these impeachment proceedings wherein the White House has blocked specific testimony and House-issued subpoenas, but have also criticized (along with Congressional Republicans) the impeachment proceedings for a lack of compelling evidence (ignoring the fact that the White House has ignored Constitutional duty to respond to Congressional oversight.

Watch Trump’s interview with Ingraham above via Fox News.

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