What Kind Of Game Is John Bolton Playing?
Has Trump finally met his match in terms of “unfairness”, hurt feelings and lashing back?
Sizzling details from Trump’s former National Security Advisor’s soon-to-be-published memoir almost completely undermine the President’s impeachment defense. According to the New York Times, which broke the story, Bolton writes that Trump absolutely tied withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine with investigating the Biden family and the whereabouts of a Hillary Clinton-linked server. That’s something Trump absolutely denies, saying his only concern was corruption in Ukraine and there was no quid-pro-quo. Except a quid-pro-quo is exactly what Bolton describes.
Which really, we all knew happened anyway, but Republicans have been protesting nobody really close to the President has confirmed that first hand so we can’t be sure. Well now they have and now we can. It’s only a matter of getting it onto the record. And Bolton’s said he would testify before the Senate.
But Bolton said he wouldn’t testify before the House unless a judge told him he had to. And so these new details won’t make any difference in Trump’s trial unless Bolton is indeed subpoenaed now to testify before the Senate. Which is something Senators should call for unanimously. But that would mess up Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s timetable of getting Trump’s impeachment trial over with, and Trump cleared, by the end of the week.
Trump quickly declared Bolton’s account false: “NEVER”. But what else is he going to do? And it’s amazing how quickly Republicans closed ranks; coming up with excuses why Bolton testifying is not a good idea, when it should be obligatory. (And like we said, if that means Hunter Biden too, bring him on!) After all, not long ago, and for many decades, Bolton was one of their own.
Trump also this morning Tweeted “The Democrat controlled House never even asked John Bolton to testify.” Which is pure distortion. Bolton never testified before the House because he refused to “at the direction of the President”. Yet Republicans are jumping all over this truly fake excuse too.
Still, what does Bolton think he’s up to?
His lawyer issued a letter with the intent of preempting the assumption that Bolton leaked the details himself, saying the White House has had a copy of his manuscript since December, and the leak could’ve come from there or someplace else. Which seems just a little too convenient. Especially considering the timing.
Here’s what we think: Bolton’s book has a publish date of March 17th. If he doesn’t get his story out now, and Trump is acquitted, it’s a little stale by then. This is his only chance to stay relevant, and to prove he’s the smartest guy in the room, which he’s always compelled to do, and is one of the main reasons so many people dislike him so much. As we’ve said before, we know him a little, or at least did, and we’ve never encountered anybody before or since who has been so belittling of his own staff in front of other people.
This way, Bolton may believe he can have it both ways: exacting some portion of revenge against a President who unceremoniously booted him out of the White House, while at the same time not doing too much to undermine his ultra-Conservative world view Trump services to a large extent. If so, he’s just so clever!
Of course, there’s nothing stopping Bolton from doing a news conference or media interviews right away; it’s all going to come out in a publicly available book anyway, right? But he doesn’t seem to be inclined to do that right now either.
Even the title of his book: “The Room Where It Happened”, which refers to the musical “Hamilton”, reflects the high esteem in which Bolton holds himself.