Is anybody still interested in hearing from John Bolton?
If so, he’s ready to testify in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. That’s according to a statement the former national security advisor issued on Monday.
Bolton, a relentless self-promoter, delivered the news via his PAC.
“Since my testimony is once again at issue, I have had to resolve the serious competing issues as best I could, based on careful consideration and study”, John wrote, after briefly recapping the events of the past two months, during which he and his attorneys have generally attempted to piggyback on tangential tiffs between lawmakers and the White House in the course of stalling.
“I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify”, he went on to declare.
Late last month, facing criticism that the Senate doesn’t intend to take Trump’s impeachment seriously, Mitch McConnell insisted he hasn’t ruled out calling witnesses. And yet, Republicans are clearly inclined to avoid hearing from anyone who might provide damning testimony, including and especially Bolton and Mick Mulvaney, who each leaned on the same set of excuses as former White House counsel Don McGahn when arguing that they were not required to testify on Capitol Hill during the House’s impeachment probe.
In a December letter to colleagues, Chuck Schumer seized on documents released by the non-profit Center for Public Integrity to insist on the necessity of the Senate conducting a thorough trial. The cache of e-mails released by CPI showed, among other things, that the Office of Management and Budget had misgivings about orchestrating a delay in the disbursement of congressionally-approved military aid to Ukraine.
According to public and private testimony from Bolton aide Fiona Hill, John referred to Mulvaney’s efforts to compel Ukraine to open an investigation into Trump’s political rivals as a “drug deal“. Hill also said Bolton called Rudy Giuliani a “hand grenade”. New reporting suggests Bolton and Giuliani also clashed in 2018 over Trump’s policy in Venezuela.
Fortunately, John has saved everyone the time of retelling the story behind the delay in his decision. Below is his full statement which, in its original format (i.e., as it appeared on the official website for his PAC), was accompanied by an exhortation to follow him on Twitter for the latest updates.
Via John Bolton
“During the present impeachment controversy, I have tried to meet my obligations both as a citizen and as former National Security Advisor. My colleague, Dr. Charles Kupperman, faced with a House committee subpoena on the one hand, and a Presidential directive not to testify on the other, sought final resolution of this Constitutional conflict from the Federal judiciary. After my counsel informed the House committee that I too would seek judicial resolution of these Constitutional issues, the committee chose not to subpoena me. Nevertheless, I publicly resolved to be guided by the outcome of Dr. Kupperman’s case.
But both the President and the House of Representatives opposed his effort on jurisdictional grounds, and each other on the merits. The House committee went so far as to withdraw its subpoena to Dr. Kupperman in a deliberate attempt to moot the case and deprive the court of jurisdiction. Judge Richard Leon, in a carefully reasoned opinion on December 30, held Dr. Kupperman’s case to be moot, and therefore did not reach the separation-of-powers issues.
The House has concluded its Constitutional responsibility by adopting Articles of Impeachment related to the Ukraine matter. It now falls to the Senate to fulfill its Constitutional obligation to try impeachments, and it does not appear possible that a final judicial resolution of the still-unanswered Constitutional questions can be obtained before the Senate acts.
Accordingly, since my testimony is once again at issue, I have had to resolve the serious competing issues as best I could, based on careful consideration and study. I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify.