Former National Security Adviser John Bolton slammed the Democrats’ impeachment process of President Trump as “grossly partisan” and claimed his own potential testimony “would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome.”
Despite the left’s hailing him as a hero for claiming he had information about Trump’s conduct regarding Ukraine, Bolton has increasingly come under fire for teasing information but never really saying anything. Many who formerly praised his courage blasted him for just trying to sell his forthcoming book.
During a lecture on “defining U.S. global leadership” held at Vanderbilt University on Wednesday, Bolton tangled with one of his predecessors, Susan Rice, who was President Barack Obama’s former national security adviser, as he complained that the House “committed impeachment malpractice,” according to the Associated Press.
He argued that “the process drove Republicans who might have voted for impeachment away because it was so partisan.”
Bolton also admitted that he had not expected the Senate to vote against hearing from him or any other witnesses.
During the House impeachment hearings, Bolton had said he would not comply with a subpoena to testify only to change his position in January when the Senate trial began. Republicans voted against hearing from new witnesses and Bolton was not called upon though an excerpt from his unpublished book was conveniently leaked claiming knowledge of Trump’s call with the Ukraine president.
“People can argue about what I should have said and what I should have done,” Bolton said at the Vanderbilt University event. “I would bet you a dollar right here and now, my testimony would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome.”
Rice, who had to go through the same White House review process for releasing her own book, noted that nothing caused her “to refuse to share information with Congress or the public that I thought was of national import.”
A key Obama administration official that fought transparency every day and lied about their scandals is preaching that she would have testified. ?
— JJC (@jcarew1312) February 20, 2020
“I can’t imagine withholding my testimony, with or without a subpoena,” she said. “I would feel like I was shamefully violating the oath that I took to the Constitution — to defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
“I also can’t imagine, frankly, in the absence of being able to provide that information directly to Congress, not having exercised my First Amendment right to speak publicly at a time when my testimony or my experience would be relevant, Rice, who served under Obama from 2013-2017, said.
Bolton pushed back saying he had agreed to testify if he was subpoenaed.
“I said I would testify if subpoenaed [by the House]. My position is exactly the same as Joe Biden,” Bolton responded.
“Except Joe Biden didn’t have firsthand knowledge about what transpired with Ukraine,” Rice shot back.
Pressed on the criticism that he should relate what he knows, Bolton referred to the “implied threat of criminal prosecution” if he happened to share classified information and again cited his book when asked if he would have testified if a subpoena had been issued.
“I’m not here to speculate on that with the pre-publication review process under way,” he said, causing some in the audience to laugh. “Laugh all you want. This is the judgment of my counsel, somebody I worked with 35 years ago, 30 years ago at the Department of Justice.”
Rice comments on Bolton’s “sprinkles on an ice cream sundae” statement on Monday about his book. “I don’t understanding using WH pre-clearance as a reason to not be forthcoming.”
Bolton saying he’s just listening to his attys. “I sleep at night because I follow my conscience.”
— Vanderbilt Hustler (@VandyHustler) February 20, 2020
Bolton’s continued teasing of his book while refusing to divulge anything of substance has sparked furious backlash. When asked about the controversy surrounding Ukraine during an event at Duke University on Monday, Bolton would only refer to “sprinkles” on an ice cream sundae. Asked if he agreed with Trump’s assessment that his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy last year was “perfect,” Bolton had responded, “you’ll love Chapter 14.”
Bolton hypes book, hopes it’s not ‘suppressed’: Trump ‘tweets, but I can’t talk about it — how fair is that?’ https://t.co/TmmV7ZgVZ0
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 18, 2020
Bolton was slammed for playing coy while promoting his book.
Money before country.
The @AmbJohnBolton way.
That’s his legacy.
— andy lassner (@andylassner) February 18, 2020
Yes. He only cares about his book. If he were really worried about Trump he’d leak the info to the media.
— UKinSFO (@UKinSFO) February 18, 2020
He is exactly who we always though he was.
— Jay Arnold ?️? (@JadedCreative) February 18, 2020
Sounds like Bolton did what he thought was right for HIMSELF, not for the country.
— JP Winston (@IronyDigest) February 20, 2020
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