Tag Archives: John Bolton

Let the trial begin … with witnesses!

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

It looks as though the U.S. Senate is going to convene a trial next week. The president of the United States is going to stand trial on charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress.

The trial of Donald Trump isn’t a purely legal proceeding. It’s damn close to one, though. It’s close enough to a courtroom trial that there needs to be witnesses called who have something important to add to the issue at hand.

That issue is: What happened precisely during that “perfect phone call” that Trump had with the president of Ukraine? Then-national security adviser John Bolton was present when Trump talked to his Ukrainian colleague; so was acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. The Senate needs to hear from them. What they did hear? Did the president ask a foreign government to interfere in our 2020 election? Did he withhold military aid to Ukraine until it announced an investigation into Joe Biden, a potential Trump foe?

The nation does not know what they know. We have not heard it from them directly. I am one American who wants to know what they heard. I want to hear ’em say it out loud, in public, under oath.

Will that occur? Will the Senate summon them? We don’t know.

In return, of course, Trump wants the Senate to call Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, who worked for the energy company for a handsome sum of money. There are allegations of “corruption” involving Hunter Biden. Except that prosecutors have said time and again that the younger Biden did nothing illegal.

The president also wants to call House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. Why? Beats the livin’ malarkey out of me!

Let’s not turn this trial into a sideshow. It is serious. It is a sober event. It should be conducted with utmost decorum and dignity.

I am awaiting the start of this trial. I hope we get to hear from Bolton and others with direct knowledge of what happened … allegedly!

We need a serious trial. Not a circus.

C’mon, Mr. POTUS … let Bolton talk to Senate

Jumpin’ jiminy, Mr. President. Now we get word that you’re thinking about invoking “executive privilege” as a way to keep John Bolton from talking to the U.S. Senate during its impeachment trial.

How come? You keep yapping that the impeachment is a “sham,” a “hoax,” a “witch hunt,” a nothing burger. Then up steps your former national security adviser, who seemed to balk initially at talking to the Senate, now says he’ll answer a subpoena if the Senate issues it.

He wants to talk out loud. He wants tell us what he knows about that so-called “perfect phone” conservation you said you had with the Ukrainian president. Yeah, I know Bolton called it a “drug deal,” and reportedly didn’t like the request you made of the Ukrainians to deliver on a “political favor, though.”

However, Bolton was thought to be your guy, Mr. President. You brought him in to give you some national security cred. Then you fired him, or he quit … whatever. And for what purpose? Because you and he weren’t on the same page. Hey, I get that the national security adviser works at the pleasure of the president, that he or she is not a Senate-confirmed individual, that you can hire and fire whoever you want for whatever reason you deem appropriate.

Does any of that mean Bolton is going to knife you in the back? Maybe. Maybe not.

Back to my point, Mr. President. You continually tell us that you’re in the clear. You’ve done nothing wrong. You haven’t abused the power of your office or obstructed Congress. Democrats in the House and Senate are conducting a fishing expedition … you say.

If all that is true, then what gives with the “executive privilege” nonsense? That’s what I believe it is, Mr. President. Nonsense! It’s a diversionary tactic that looks to me like the action of a man with something to hide from the public.

That man, sir, is you.

Listen to this rookie GOP U.S. senator; he’s making sense

Mitt Romney isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill freshman senator from a small state out west. He ran for president as the 2012 Republican nominee; he made a fortune in business; he rescued an Olympic Games effort in Utah; he is a player.

So, when the first-year senator says he wants to hear more from a former national security adviser in the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump, I believe — it is my hope, at least — that other Republican senators will peel off their blinders and endorse the Romney view of evidentiary transparency.

John Bolton says he is ready to testify if the Senate subpoenas him. The former national security adviser has first-hand knowledge of the “perfect” phone call that Trump said he had with Ukrainian President Volodyrmyr Zelenskiy, the one in which Trump asked Zelenskiy for a “favor, though” before he released military aid to Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed rebels.

Trump doesn’t want his former national security guru to talk, even though he keeps saying the phone call is “perfect.” It makes many of us wonder: Why does a man with nothing to hide seek to prevent someone who could clear him from talking to the Senate?

Romney wants to hear more from Bolton. There might be another GOP moderate senator or three, or maybe more, who could join Romney in the quest for the truth. If they sign on, then the Senate will hear from at least this witness. Maybe more will be summoned.

Then we can have a “fair” trial in the Senate to determine whether Trump committed an abuse of power and obstructed Congress.

Now it’s John Bolton who might hold the key to Trump’s future

(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

How about that John Bolton?

The former national security adviser to Donald J. Trump once balked at testifying before Congress over whether the president committed impeachable offenses. Now he says he’s all in — if the U.S. Senate subpoenas him for an upcoming trial on whether Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

This is a big deal, ladies and gentlemen.

At issue is whether Trump abused his power by soliciting a foreign government for a political favor and whether he obstructed Congress by blocking key aides from testifying. I believe he has done both things.

Now it’s Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser who has said Trump’s supposedly “perfect phone call” to Ukraine’s president was fraught with peril. He now wants to testify to senators what he heard in real time, in the moment, with his own ears.

Trump doesn’t want him to testify. Why is that? Do you suppose that Bolton might offer testimony that damages the president’s case. Were he to offer exculpatory evidence — which would possibly clear Trump of wrongdoing — the president would be all in favor of Bolton speaking out. Isn’t that right? Um, yep. I believe it is!

Now comes the Big Question: If the Senate agrees to allow Bolton’s testimony, might he offer testimony that persuades moderate Senate Republicans to swing from clearing Trump to convicting him? Some observers think it’s possible. I am not so sure of that. The GOP fealty to Trump is so ingrained in its talking points that there might be no way for them to turn away from the president.

Oh, man, I hope I am wrong on that one.

However, it is beyond vital that we get the former national security adviser — the man with first-hand knowledge of what Trump said to Ukrainian officials — to tell the Senate what he knows.

Is this the game changer? Let John Bolton speak for the record and then we’ll know.

Waiting on former national security adviser’s testimony

It was reported when John Bolton left the national security adviser’s post that the fiery foreign policy guru is no shrinking violet, that he wouldn’t sit quietly by while Donald Trump trashed him.

Trump said he fired Bolton, who then said he resigned. Trump said his decision to let Bolton go was over differences in how to handle Middle East policy.

OK, but now Bolton has become a key player in this impeachment inquiry. You see, we don’t know what Bolton might have heard when Trump was dealing with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelinskiy and whether he sought foreign government help for personal political purposes.

It is now assured that Bolton will speak to congressional committees about what he knows and what he saw and heard while serving in the White House. I am one American — who, by the way, doesn’t think much of Bolton’s world view — who is awaiting what he has to say.

My hunch is that he won’t shy away one bit from providing whatever information he has about the president. House committee members already have gotten an earful from other former Trump administration officials, notably from one-time Ukraine envoy William Taylor, who reportedly has said that Trump did withhold military assistance to Ukraine in exchange for a political favor.

Will the former national security adviser’s deposition support that assertion? Will he add more grist for the impeachment mill? John Bolton doesn’t strike me as a shrinking violet. He is a tough guy clothed in a business suit.

If I were a betting man, I would wager that those close to Donald Trump are seriously worried about what John Bolton is going to say about how the president has violated his oath of office.

Trump turns a ‘zero’ into a ‘hero’

Donald Trump’s unique ability is on display once again.

The president of the United States has this way – at least in my own biased way – of turning political zeroes into heroes.

Take the case of John Bolton, the former national security adviser who quit or was fired because of disagreements with the president.
Bolton is not shy in the least about expressing his views on worldly matters. I guess he got into trouble with the president because he gave Trump advice he didn’t want to hear.

Bolton has said in recent days that he didn’t think the president should meet with the Afghan terrorists known as the Taliban at Camp David on the eve of the 9/11 terrorist attack commemoration because it would, in Bolton’s eyes, dishonor the memory of the victims we lost on that terrible day.

Trump didn’t want to hear it. He also didn’t want to hear a lot of things that Bolton had to say.

So now Bolton is gone. The president has appointed another individual to offer him “advice” on how to protect the nation against our enemies. I doubt he’ll listen to the new man any more than he listened to the three previous national security advisers; I’ll pass on judging his relationship with the first guy, Michael Flynn, because he was gone after just 24 days in office.

I suspect we haven’t heard the last of John Bolton.

Hey, don’t misunderstand me. I didn’t think much of Bolton’s appointment when Trump made it. I think even less, though, of the man who selected him.

So, keep talking, John Bolton.

Bolton is gone; the problem remains: it’s POTUS

John Bolton has left the building, the White House.

Fine. Good riddance. However, the former national security adviser isn’t the problem. The national security risk remains with the guy who appointed him to the office he has just departed in a huff: Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States.

Trump said Bolton made too many decision with which he disagreed. What’s most stunning, though, is that Bolton did not want the president to meet with Taliban terrorists on the eve of the nation’s 9/11 commemoration. Trump seemed to call that a “big mistake.”

Moreover, then we hear from Trump that Bolton drew the ire of North Korean tyrant/dictator/murderer Kim Jong Un. Trump said Kim “couldn’t tolerate” Bolton … as if it should matter whether a Marxist tyrant should have to tolerate a U.S. national security adviser.

Bolton is the third national security adviser to leave the Trump administration. The first was Michael Flynn, who left after 24 days for allegedly lying to the FBI about that “Russia thing.” Then H.R. McMaster, an Army lieutenant general and a brilliant military strategist, resigned over differences with the president.

Now it’s Bolton who’s been shown the door.

These presidential appointees come and go.

However, the problem remains with the individual who called on them in the first place.

Another of the ‘best people’ becomes ‘not bright’

I’m confused.

Donald Trump told us he would surround himself with “the best people” while he settled into the presidency of the United States. Then whenever they leave — often after disputing with the president — they become dummies.

So it has been with John Bolton, the former national security adviser, who quit suddenly this week — or perhaps he was fired.

Bolton is a well-known foreign-policy hawk with whom the president reportedly had disagreements.

Now he’s gone.

Does the president let the issue go? Does he move on? Does he look ahead exclusively to finding the next national security adviser, who would become No. 4 in that office since Trump took office?

Heavens no!

Trump told reporters that Bolton isn’t “bright.” He said Bolton made some “big mistakes.”

Good grief, dude. Trump selected the national security adviser, who isn’t subject to Senate confirmation. He picks all the White House aides. He vows upon picking them that they’re best at what they do. Then they run afoul of the president, at which time they become worthless.

Is this how Donald Trump defines the “best people”?

Yep, Bolton quit … period

Former national security adviser John Bolton wrote it out plainly and simply to Donald J. Trump.

“I hereby resign, effective immediately, as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Thank you for having afforded me this opportunity to serve our country.”

The letter is dated Sept. 10. That would be, um, Tuesday … of this week.

The president said he sought Bolton’s resignation. Bolton said he gave it on his own.

Who’s telling the truth? Well, you know how I feel about Trump. I don’t believe anything he says. Not at any level. On any subject. Nothing, man! Zero.

Therefore, I am inclined to believe Bolton.

Let me be clear: I do not want John Bolton advising any president on national security matters. He’s a warmonger. He’d rather hurl bombs at our enemies than seek diplomatic solutions.

Trump said he has disagreed with the advice Bolton gave him. At some level, I wish I could believe the president. Then again, I’ve already stated once again that I believe nothing from this man.

Oh, the quandary.

The bigger question facing the nation is seeking to find someone who can work with the president. Who in the world who is worth a damn would stomach working for someone who is so prone to disagreeing with advice he gets from supposed experts on matters such as, say … national security?

Trump has said he’s an expert on every subject known to humanity. That must include ways to protect this nation against its enemies.

Heaven help us.

Bolton quits … or was fired … which is it?

What do you know about this?

John Bolton, Donald Trump’s third national security adviser, is gone. He was either (a) fired by the president or (b) quit all by himself, of his own volition.

Whichever way Bolton’s tenure ended really isn’t critical here. The critical element is this: Donald Trump cannot work with individuals who seek to give him any sort of critical advice with which he might disagree.

Thus, Bolton has hit the road.

Trump, Bolton hit the skids

I won’t mourn the loss of John Bolton. I dislike his world view. He’s a warmongering hardliner. However, reports are surfacing that the national security guru disagreed with Trump’s decision to meet with the Taliban, the terrorists with whom the United States went to war after 9/11.

I reckon that Bolton told Trump of his disagreement with that call, so the president canned him, or asked him to quit, or perhaps Bolton offered to quit and Trump agreed.

What a circus? What a carnival?

Who in the world would dare to work with this president under any circumstance?

So now Donald Trump is without an individual who can give him the kind of unvarnished national security advice he needs.

Pass the popcorn. The clown show goes on.