Foreign Policy

Bolton Says Trump Sought Investigations of Democrats

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It should already be crystal clear that Trump tried to extort the Ukrainian government into doing dirty work for him by withholding military aid if they don't publicly announce or give the appearance that Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden is being investigated for corruption, but now at least one more person very close to Trump says that's what happened.

The New York Times reported early this morning that, according to former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Trump explicitly said the scheme was tied to investigations of Democrats.

The New York Times cited the manuscript of an unpublished book by Bolton as saying that Trump told him he wanted to freeze security aid to Ukraine until Kiev helped with politically beneficial investigations into Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. [...]

Trump denied telling Bolton he was seeking something in return for unfreezing the Ukrainian aid, which eventually was provided in September after the controversy became public.

“I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens ... If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

It's true that John Bolton is selling a book, but that doesn't mean he's lying and there's not a whole lot of reason to think he is.

I don't know to what extent Bolton cares about his own reputation and standing, but it will likely take a significant hit from most conservative circles that are almost all controlled by Trumpian sycophants in the year 2020.

Bolton is also far from the first and may not even be the last person make these claims that, lest we forget, were admitted to during a public press conference by Trump's Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and made evident by readouts of Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy. You know, the "perfect call" in which Trump told Zelenskiy to do him a favor.

I don't think this makes it any more likely that Trump will be removed from office, but it may make Senate Republicans look even worse when they inevitably ignore the evidence and give Trump a pass. Republican control of Congress is on trial.

  • muselet

    I keep wondering what John Bolton’s game is.

    He’s never cared much for diplomatic niceties, he’s been in every R administration since Ronald Reagan’s, Donald Trump is following most of the agenda he’s been pushing since he was an embryo, and yet he suddenly grows scruples and fires a salvo not just at Trump but at his own non-governmental career as a reliable Righty pundit for FNC? That doesn’t make sense.

    This may be personal, a case of Bolton feeling aggrieved at being fired by the Trump administration. It may be that he quit and this is his heroes-never-look-back, slow-motion walk away from the exploding wreckage of an administration he sees as a failure. Either of those possibilities leads to an obvious question: why run the risk of undermining an R administration run by an easily-manipulated rube when alternatives aren’t exactly thick upon the ground?

    There’s a cynical part of me that says Bolton leaked a fake chapter of his manuscript to bait the Senate into calling him as a witness, whereupon he denies everything the Times reported and backs Trump’s story. It would take balls the size of cabbages, but I wouldn’t put it past him to try.

    Can you tell I’m deeply confused?

    Yes, Senate Rs will come out of this looking bad—especially the likes of Mitt Romney and Susan Collins, with their very public chin-stroking and head-shaking—but since when have they cared about appearances?

    –alopecia

    • katanahamon

      They, or the right wing, don’t have to care anymore. They make money within their own network and by gaining political power through nefarious means, thereby subjugating the populace, and have an entire network of propaganda masters to project a bubble within which to live. Truth is now whatever they wish..they only have to say it over and over and over..we haven’t demanded justice, they’re getting away with whatever they want. Yeah, me too..it’s depressing.

  • katanahamon

    And yet we will likely see the country busy looking at tweets from pop stars after the Senate simply votes this mess under the table. It’s sickening, disgusting, and I doubt we ever recover. We haven’t ever demanded any retribution or justice for Garland..a Supreme Court seat was literally stolen, yet..nothing. The evil in our country is emboldened by every one of these steps.

  • Who would have imagined that so much ADDITIONAL evidence would emerge DURING THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL? It’s not surprising that the evidence exists, but it coming out during the trial just demonstrates even more how corrupt the Republicans’ position is.