Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino offered up a telling reason why President Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton does not need to testify in the Senate impeachment trial of the president.
Appearing Monday on Fox & Friends following a timely New York Times article out Sunday night that cited an as-yet unpublished book manuscript by Bolton to claim the president explicitly linked a hold on Ukraine aid to an investigation of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
“President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens,” the Times reported.
The book manuscript was conveniently leaked to the newspaper just in time to apply pressure on Senate Republicans to allow new witnesses in Trump’s trial.
Right on cue, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff, the Democrats’ lead impeachment manager, acted on the Times article — which may or may not be accurate — to call for Bolton to testify.
“Bolton directly contradicts the heart of the President’s defense,” he said. “If the trial is to be fair, Senators must insist that Mr. Bolton be called as a witness, and provide his notes and other documents.”
The President blocked our request for Bolton’s testimony.
Now we see why:
Bolton directly contradicts the heart of the President’s defense.
If the trial is to be fair, Senators must insist that Mr. Bolton be called as a witness, and provide his notes and other documents. https://t.co/go9DJdRDEf
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 27, 2020
Trump took to Twitter to quickly deny he ever told Bolton the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, and while Bolton said he is prepared to testify in the Senate trial if subpoenaed, nothing is preventing him from calling a news conference today to say that he can prove the president engaged in wrongdoing.
Fox News co-host Brian Kilmeade said Schiff wants Bolton to testify to see if he will say Trump was out to “blow up” Biden as a potential 2020 opponent.
“If John Bolton wants to be the Republican like Bill Kristol, who wants to blow up the president, Adam Schiff and Co. want to give him the opportunity,” Kilmeade said.
(Bolton was fired in September, though he insisted that he resigned — either way, he left the administration on negative terms.)
Video Source: Fox & Friends
“I get you guys are asking legitimate questions, so please don’t take this as me being overtly hostile,” Bongino replied. “But the problem is your asking these questions as if there’s no consequence.”
Suggesting some are saying it’s no big deal if Bolton testifies, Bongino pointed out that President Trump is being impeached “over nothing.”
“For what, a thought crime?” he asked. “I’m a former investigator, I built cases in court … once you allow people to throw the impeachment process out the window and start impeaching the president for thought crimes, you set a dangerous precedent and weak-kneed Republicans better start to recognize that.”
“There is nothing Bolton adds to the conversation about a substantive crime because no substantive crime ever happened. None,” he added.
In responding to the Times story, Trump suggested that IF Bolton is accusing him of a quid pro quo, it’s to sell books.
“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,” the president said in a tweet, before referring back to the transcripts of his call with the Ukrainian leader.
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