CNN analyst Bakari Sellers has called out former National Security Adviser John Bolton as a “coward” for not testifying in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
The former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives criticized Bolton, who departed the White House in September reportedly over disagreements with Trump about foreign policy, during a panel discussion on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.
Sellers commented on Bolton not yet appearing before the House Intelligence Committee as he spoke on the panel, which was moderated by CNN host Jake Tapper and included former Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Democratic Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and former Republican Utah Rep. Mia Love.
“Yes, the Democrats have more work to do to bring out all this information, but honestly, if we don’t think that intervening in an election, that causing a foreign country to intervene in an election, to tilt the election in the president’s favor is not a violation of his oath of office, then what is impeachable?” Granholm said.
“Do you think it’s impeachable though?” Love wondered.
“Absolutely,” Granholm replied. “You don’t think so?”
“They have not made — they have not made — I’m sorry. They have not made the case to — ” Love responded, as the rest of the panel began to weigh in, speaking over each other.
“But if it were proven that a country was asked by our president to interfere in our most sacred process, that — to tilt the election in his favor, that’s not impeachable?” Granholm asked.
“It’s absolutely inappropriate. Absolutely —” Love confirmed, but reiterated that “there has not been any evidence.”
“I’m sorry. I have to go on evidence and facts,” she pushed back after Granholm continued to press the point, and with Santorum agreeing.
The line of debate prompted Sellers to interject.
“Yes, it’s impeachable, to answer the question, but we need to acknowledge that there is no reason and that, this may be ancillary, that all of John Bolton’s staff had the courage to come and testify over the last two weeks, but he’s being a coward and not doing so,” Sellers said.
“He’d rather write a book than testify,” he added, referring to a new book deal with Simon & Schuster that is reportedly worth about $2 million.
“A very well-informed preview of your Thanksgiving dinner,” Tapper concluded to laughter as the show wrapped up. “We just had it right here.”
Bolton has refused to come before Congress despite, as his lawyer, Charles J. Cooper has said, being involved in “many relevant meetings and conversations that have not yet been discussed” in the impeachment hearings.
Bolton broke his social media silence last week, resurfacing on Twitter after a two-month absence with a mysterious tweet and a promise to deliver “the backstory.”
In follow-up tweets, the former ambassador claimed his account had been “suppressed” and that the White House “refused” to return his access to the account. Asked about the claims while speaking with the hosts of “Fox & Friends” last week, President Trump said that, although he and his former White House aide had disagreed sometimes, they had a “good relationship.”
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham suggested the former ambassador’s age and memory may have had something to do with his claim that he had been locked out of his Twitter account as she remarked about Bolton’s book deal to Fox Business host Lou Dobbs last week.
WH press secretary takes shot at John Bolton; He’s ‘advanced in age,’ maybe forgot his Twitter password https://t.co/ZE81fpVN5C
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 23, 2019
“I hear he’s got a book deal and I hear he’s been on quite the speaking circuit and charging some high fees for that,” Grisham said. “I guess money can get you to do a lot of things.”
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