Tag Archives: John Bolton

Say this about Bolton: He tells the truth

(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The chances of U.S. Senate Democrats being able to call witnesses in the trial of Donald John Trump seem to be vanishing.

It’s a shame. One of the witnesses, ex-national security adviser John Bolton, has first-hand knowledge of what Trump said to the Ukrainian president on that fateful July 25, 2019 phone call.

He has expressed concern about the nature of the request Trump made to his Ukrainian colleague: the favor of political help, a request to Trump dig up dirt on Joe Biden, a potential 2020 campaign foe. I consider that an abuse of power. So did most of the House of Representatives when it voted to impeach Trump.

Well, if the Senate Republican leadership has its way and the Senate proceeds without hearing from Bolton and others who were in the room that day, then the impeachment “trial” will need a historical asterisk as we refer to it in the future.

I do not consider John Bolton to be a liar. He is a man of principle. He is too hawkish for my taste, but I tend to believe him over anything that comes forth from his former boss, the current president.

Accordingly, I wish we could hear from him.

But … it likely won’t occur. Too bad. The nation will likely suffer the consequence of the absence of this man’s Senate testimony.

Feeling oddly dirty backing Bolton these days

I am going to admit something of which I am not proud.

It is that I am feeling a bit dirty in backing the word of former national security adviser John Bolton, who suddenly has become the potentially star witness in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, the nation’s current president.

Bolton was in the room when Trump made that infamous July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zellenskiy, the one when he asked Zellenskiy for a personal political favor. He has plenty to tell the Senate in its trial to determine whether Trump should remain president.

Why the dirty feeling? I have long opposed Bolton’s uber-hawkish world view. He once served as United Nations ambassador and said one could knock the top 10 floors off the U.N. building and not miss a lick.

However, he is a man of principle. He said he heard something in that Trump-Zellenskiy phone call that disturbed him. He reportedly told Trump at the time of his concern. Bolton now has written a book in which he details his alarm that Trump sought a political favor in exchange for sending military aid to Ukraine, which is in the midst of an all-out war with Russia-back rebels.

You’ve heard the phrase that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” I don’t consider Donald Trump to be my “enemy.” Yes, I believe he is unfit for the office he occupies. I believe the phone call he made to Zellenskiy is just one of many examples he has provided to demonstrate his unfitness.

Bolton, who’s been scorned by many of us over the years, now has become a friend, an ally, someone of historic value.

Weird, huh?

Bring on John Bolton!

Here we are. The House of Representatives impeachment managers have made their case. Donald John Trump’s legal team has made its case.

Now come the questions and answers, the back and forth in Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.

I just want to make this request as clearly as I can: Senators need to summon former national security adviser John Bolton to tell them what he heard on July 25 when the president made that infamous phone call to the president of Ukraine.

And no, there need not be a sideshow witness called to counter Bolton’s appearance. Bolton is a material fact witness. He has first-hand knowledge of what transpired during that phone call. Republicans are making noises about summoning Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president, who went to work for a Ukraine energy company. Yeah, he got a lot of money. Prosecutors have said, however, that there was no “corruption” involved.

Hunter Biden profited from being the son of a prominent U.S. politician. So … what? Does the GOP defense of Trump actually want to play that card, given the nepotism that runs rampant throughout the West Wing of the White House?

Bolton needs to be heard. So does White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. If they are able to defend what Trump did, then let ’em do it! If they have something else to say, let ’em say that, too!

Is this the ‘smoking gun’? Uhh, probably … not

Former national security adviser John Bolton has just tossed a proverbial live grenade into Donald John Trump’s defense team’s lap.

You see, he has this book coming out that alleges that the current president of the United States conditioned specifically the withholding of military aid to Ukraine on the launching of an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden.

Bingo! Ba-da-boom! There’s your so-called “smoking gun.”

Democrats now are insisting in even more vigorous terms that Bolton be summoned to testify before the Senate trial that is underway to determine whether Trump should be kicked out of office. The House has impeached him on grounds of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

If Bolton gets to talk openly and under oath to senators, then some folks believe this might be the testimony that could pry Republicans loose from their loyal support of Donald Trump. I wish I could join them in believing as much. I am afraid that Trump’s death grip on the GOP is as tight as ever.

It is an amazing transformation of a once-great political party.

If Bolton’s testimony is somehow kept out of the Senate record, then he will be able to publish his book, share to the world what he reportedly has written. Donald Trump will continue to deny that he said what Bolton has alleged … although I am unwilling to believe a single word that comes out of POTUS’s mouth.

I do agree, though, that Bolton has detonated a bomb.

It remains to be seen, though, whether it inflicts any serious damage to the man who is defending himself against those who have accused him of high crimes and misdemeanors.

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.