After being “invited” by congressional Democrats to testify before them about President Donald Trump, former National Security Adviser John Bolton basically told Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler, and the rest of the gang to pound sand.
In an email sent late Wednesday to The Hill, the former FNC personality’s attorney Chuck Cooper confirmed that his client won’t appear before Democrats voluntarily — and that he’d have to be subpoenaed, for starter’s.
The Hill noted though that it’s “not clear” whether even a subpoena will be enough to compel the staunch lifelong conservative — and former Reagan, H.W. Bush and W. Bush administration official — to appear before his lifelong political enemies.
What’s known is that Bolton boasts the same attorney as former Deputy National Security Adviser Charles Kupperman, who made headlines last week after he filed a lawsuit challenging a subpoena issued against him by Democrats.
See the suit below:
“The president … has asserted that plaintiff, as a close personal adviser to the president, is immune from congressional process, and has instructed plaintiff not to appear and testify in response to the House’s subpoena,” it reads.
“Plaintiff is faced with irreconcilable commands by the Legislative and Executive Branches of the Government and, accordingly, seeks a declaratory judgment from this Court as to whether he is lawfully obliged to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Defendants demanding his testimony ‘[p]ursuant to the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry,’ or he is lawfully obliged to abide by the assertion of immunity from congressional process made by the President in connection with the testimony sought from Plaintiff,” it continues.
Will Bolton pursue the same route if subpoenaed? And if so, will House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff respond with the same dismissive attitude?
“The lawsuit that Dr. Kupperman filed in district court has no basis in law. A private citizen cannot sue the Congress to try to avoid coming in when they’re served with a lawful subpoena … [H]is failure to appear is evidence that may warrant a contempt proceeding,” he said to reporters on Monday.
(Source: JM Rieger of The Washington Post)
Left-wing Twitter users responded by urging Schiff and other top Democrat leaders to go ahead and just throw Kupperman in jail for not following their orders.
Lock Him Up #CharlesKupperman isn’t above the law. The Court of Appeals has already ruled that the Inquiries are legitimate, not that they should have had to. Their refusal to show violates the law. They aren’t any better than anyone else. If we failed to show we’d be locked up.
— Melody #EndGunViolenceNow? (@MsDuhMeanor) October 28, 2019
#NoOneIsAboveTheLaw — #CharlesKupperman is in #ContemptOfCongress and, as such, should face the maximum penalty for his willful defiance of a duly authorized subpoena: 1 year in prison + $100,000 fine. HOLD HIM ACCOUNTABLE !!!!! #ImpeachmentTaskForce
— A4NY14 (@A4Ny14) October 28, 2019
If I were subpoenaed to testify at this impeachment hearing and did not show up I would immediately be arrested and jailed#CharlesKupperman& any other non responders need to be arrested and do the #perpwalk
maybe the rest of them will actually show up #EnoughDoubleStandards
— Talk Soup (@TheTalkSoup) October 28, 2019
Another #Republican, Former National Security Advisor #CharlesKupperman failed to show up as subpoenaed in the Trump #ImpeachmentInquiry. Seems that like his boss, he has a little regard for Legalities! Arrest him! #AmericaFirst #CrookedTrump #CrookedAdministration #TrumpLies
— Jon Field (@joninfinity) October 29, 2019
#CharlesKupperman NO SHOW. NO COURAGE. NO HONOR. OBSTURCTIONIST. Let’s start applying serious fines & jail time for people that think they are above the law, while the rest of us would have to comply with a subpoena. Serious issues DEMAND people take them seriously. @GOP
— WordontheStreet (@Write_Sense) October 28, 2019
This attitude seems to speak to a growing belief among some Democrats that they’re criminal justice enforcers. In reality, they’re not.
It’s unclear though whether this attitude will harm or hamper Democrats’ efforts to compel Bolton to testify, especially given as he’s not the type of person to ever take anything sitting down.
“Throughout his history of public service — particularly to the Republican Party’s 21st-century presidents — Bolton has earned a reputation as a diplomat disdainful of diplomacy, as a hawk’s hawk who never met a potential war he didn’t like,” a recent profile of him from The Week reads.
“The man is outspoken in his derision of the international organization and famous for his fiery language against countries that oppose American wishes,” Time magazine likewise wrote in a profile of him written 14 years ago.
Don’t believe it? Then watch him telling off the United Nations way back in 1994:
Threatening Bolton’s former deputy with contempt is one thing. But threatening the man himself with contempt, if not also incarceration … could be a risky strategy.
It should be noted however that he unintentionally involved himself in the impeachment inquiry by reportedly complaining about the president’s interactions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“He is said to have been alarmed by a July 10 meeting during which U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland linked ‘investigations’ to a White House meeting between Trump and Zelensky, reportedly later referring to it as a ‘drug deal,'” The Hill reported.
Troubled by the president’s interest in having Zelensky open an investigation into credible allegations of corruption surrounding former Vice President Joe Biden, Bolton reportedly tried to alert the National Security Council.
Facts such as these have led Democrats to believe he may hold the “smoking gun” needed to prove that the request for an investigation was a malicious attempt to affect the upcoming 2020 presidential election.
But even if he does hold the “smoking gun,” which seems unlikely, it doesn’t appear he has any interest in sharing it with Democrats.
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