Judge Clears The Way For Release Of John Bolton Book

L-R John Bolton, Donald Trump (images via Flickr/WhiteHouse)

A federal has refused to block the release of former White House national security adviser John Bolton’s new book, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” which reveals highly critical insights into the presidency of Donald Trump.

From USA Today:

“With hundreds of thousands of copies around the globe – many in newsrooms – the damage is done,” wrote Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia. “There is no restoring the status quo.”

But the judge also sharply rebuked Bolton for not following the government’s prepublication clearance protocols regarding potentially classified material and suggested he could lose his $2 million advance for the book, titled, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir”.

Bolton attorney Charles Cooper, meanwhile, said his client broke no rules:

“We welcome today’s decision by the Court denying the Government’s attempt to suppress Ambassador Bolton’s book. We respectfully take issue, however, with the Court’s preliminary conclusion at this early stage of the case that Ambassador Bolton did not comply fully with his contractual prepublication obligation to the Government, and the case will now proceed to development of the full record on that issue. The full story of these events has yet to be told – but it will be.”

It’s interesting that Bolton’s attorney mentions the “full story of these events” not being told when Bolton COULD have testified during Trump’s impeachment trial and made a difference.

Instead, he waited until he could sell his story for millions. What a patriot.

Trump tried to spin the court ruling as a “win” via Twitter:

House Committee ‘Likely’ To Subpoena John Bolton

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton (image via White House - public domain)
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton speaking to the press in May 2019 (image via White House – public domain)

Even as the Senate prepares to close up shop on the Donald Trump impeachment trial today, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that it is “likely” House Democrats will subpoena former national security adviser John Bolton regarding Trump’s hold on military aid to Ukraine.

From Axios:

The state of play: Trump is set to be acquitted on articles of impeachment centered on the Ukraine saga, and Republican senators voted last week against calling new witnesses, including Bolton, in the impeachment trial.

Bolton alleges in the manuscript of his forthcoming book that Trump explicitly tied the Ukraine aid to political investigations of his opponents, including former Vice President Joe Biden and his family, and asked in early May to ensure that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would meet with Rudy Giuliani.

What they’re saying: Nadler said he was not worried about the potential political backlash from continuing the investigations, saying, “I think when you have a lawless president, you have to bring that to the fore and you have to spotlight that.”

The Mooch To John Bolton: ‘Welcome To Life Under The Bus’

Anthony Scaramucci (screen capture)

Donald Trump’s former White House Communications Director (for 11 days) Anthony Scaramucci pens a new op-ed in the Washington Post adorned with the headline, “Hey John Bolton, welcome to life under the bus!”

President Trump’s White House has launched another disinformation campaign against a former staffer. This time, John Bolton, the last national security adviser, is the target, thanks to revelations from his unpublished book.

Trump said Monday that Bolton’s claim about withholding aid to Ukraine in a quid pro quo “was only to sell a book.” The president later added Bolton “begged” him for a job and proffered advice that would have led to “World War Six by now.” But he still hired Bolton.

I know what Bolton is going through very well because Trump did the same to me. After I criticized him, the president started calling me a “nut job” and said I “wheedled” my way into his campaign.

[snip]

I, for one, never felt more alive than when the president of the United States called me an “unstable nutjob” on Twitter. His bullying and intimidating methods have frozen many in his party, but when I began receiving them myself, I realized I was finally free. Bolton might learn that speaking the truth is the best method of recovery for Trump Employment Syndrome.

Bolton Revelations Amp-Up Pressure On GOP Senators

Trump walks past reporters with no comment
Trump walks past reporters with no comment
Donald Trump (image via public domain/White House)

From the New York Times:

Revelations from President Trump’s former national security adviser, John R. Bolton, threatened to upend the Republican strategy for a fast trial and acquittal.

A handful of Republican senators appeared to be moving closer to Democrats, who want to hear from Mr. Bolton, whose manuscript accuses the president of tying Ukraine’s military aid to politically motivated investigations as well as describes the national security adviser’s concerns that Mr. Trump was doing favors for autocratic leaders.

The president’s legal team must conclude its oral arguments on Tuesday.  After the arguments, senators have 16 hours to ask questions of each side.

A vote on whether to hear witnesses in the trial is now expected on Friday.

The Times also reports that John F. Kelly, former chief of staff to Trump, told an audience in Florida on Monday night that he believed the revelations in Bolton’s upcoming book and believes the Senate should call witnesses in the impeachment trial.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is one of the GOP senators who now seem to favor Bolton testifying.

Senate Republicans Say They Were Blindsided By White House

Donald Trump and John Bolton

As Donald Trump’s legal team begins its second day of oral arguments in the Senate impeachment trial, some Republicans in the Senate were roiled by the report from the New York Times that the White House had been sitting on a copy of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s upcoming book which apparently asserts that Trump did condition the release of military aid for Ukraine on an announcement of investigations into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Via the New York Times:

By Monday morning, several Republican senators had angrily called the White House trying to determine who at the administration knew about Mr. Bolton’s manuscript, which aides there have had for several weeks, and what was in it. They told the White House they felt blindsided, according to people briefed on the calls who insisted on anonymity to describe private discussions.

One reason for their ire is that Mr. Bolton’s account flies in the face of the rationale the president’s lawyers have offered the Senate for his actions, and which many Republicans have latched onto themselves as a defense of his conduct.

Trump, of course, denies Bolton’s version of the story. He tweeted, “I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book.”

Trump’s lawyers now have to somehow argue that the Donald didn’t do what he’s accused of doing after Bolton has said he did.

It’s difficult to see how some GOP senators won’t vote in favor of Bolton testifying at the impeachment trial now, especially since he’s said he would testify if asked.

Even folks over at Fox News see the bad timing of the Bolton news.

National Security Adviser: Trump Tied Military Aid To Ukraine To Biden Investigations

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton (image via White House - public domain)
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton speaking to the press in May 2019 (image via White House – public domain)

This seriously undercuts the position of Donald Trump’s legal defense team.

I think it’s safe to say Bolton HAS to testify at Trump’s impeachment trial.

From the New York Times:

President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.

The president’s statement as described by Mr. Bolton could undercut a key element of his impeachment defense: that the holdup in aid was separate from Mr. Trump’s requests that Ukraine announce investigations into his perceived enemies, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, who had worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was in office.

Mr. Bolton’s explosive account of the matter at the center of Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial, the third in American history, was included in drafts of a manuscript he has circulated in recent weeks to close associates.

Former National Security Adviser Will Testify In Trump Impeachment Trial If Subpoenaed

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton in May 2019 (image via White House – public domain)

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton has issued a statement saying he will testify during the impeachment trial of Donald Trump if subpoenaed by the Senate.

During the present impeachment controversy, I have tried to meet my obligations both as a citizen and as former National Security Advisor. My colleague, Dr. Charles Kupperman, faced with a House committee subpoena on the one hand, and a Presidential directive not to testify on the other, sought final resolution of this Constitutional conflict from the Federal judiciary. After my counsel informed the House committee that I too would seek judicial resolution of these Constitutional issues, the committee chose not to subpoena me. Nevertheless, I publicly resolved to be guided by the outcome of Dr. Kupperman’s case.

But both the President and the House of Representatives opposed his effort on jurisdictional grounds, and each other on the merits. The House committee went so far as to withdraw its subpoena to Dr. Kupperman in a deliberate attempt to moot the case and deprive the court of jurisdiction. Judge Richard Leon, in a carefully reasoned opinion on December 30, held Dr. Kupperman’s case to be moot, and therefore did not reach the separation-of-powers issues.

The House has concluded its Constitutional responsibility by adopting Articles of Impeachment related to the Ukraine matter. It now falls to the Senate to fulfill its Constitutional obligation to try impeachments, and it does not appear possible that a final judicial resolution of the still-unanswered Constitutional questions can be obtained before the Senate acts.

Accordingly, since my testimony is once again at issue, I have had to resolve the serious competing issues as best I could, based on careful consideration and study. I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify.

ABC News reports Bolton informed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of his statement before it was released, but did not tell the White House.

While publicly saying he wants to see witnesses testify at the Senate trial, Trump has repeatedly blocked White House officials from doing so.

McConnell has said he doesn’t see the need for witnesses or documentary evidence during Trump’s trial.

CNN’s Manu Raju reports that with this new development, Democrats say Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s decision to withhold the articles of impeachment until now has been vindicated.

Former National Security Advisor Just Ghosted On His House Intelligence Committee Appearance

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton (image via White House - public domain)
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton (image via White House - public domain)
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton (image via White House – public domain)

Former White House national security adviser John Bolton was a no-show today for his scheduled closed-door deposition with the House Intelligence committee.

Bolton reportedly told the House committees handling the ongoing impeachment inquiry that he planned to challenge any subpoenas that might be issued for him.

The Washington Post reported this morning that Bolton “is willing to defy the White House and testify in the House impeachment inquiry about his alarm at the Ukraine pressure campaign if a federal court clears the way, according to people familiar with his views.”

A spokesman for the House Intelligence Committee has already indicated Democrats have “no interest in allowing the administration to play a rope-a-dope with us in the courts for months.” The official added that the White House plan to block testimony will be viewed as further evidence of obstruction for a potential article of impeachment.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff announced on Wednesday that public impeachment hearings before his committee will begin next week.

Legal experts have opined that House Democrats may believe they have enough evidence to proceed without the testimony of White House officials.

Trump Fires National Security Adviser John Bolton

Donald Trump announced via Twitter this morning that he has fired national security adviser, John Bolton, a well-known war hawk.

From the New York Times:

President Trump fired John R. Bolton, his third national security adviser, on Tuesday amid fundamental disagreements over how to handle major foreign policy challenges like Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan.

Mr. Trump announced the decision on Twitter. “I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.”

His departure comes as Mr. Trump is pursuing diplomatic openings with two of the United States’ most intractable enemies, efforts that have troubled hard-liners in the administration, like Mr. Bolton, who view North Korea and Iran as profoundly untrustworthy.

Bolton was Trump’s 3rd National Security Advisor following Michael Flynn and H. R. McMaster, both of who also were asked to tender their resignations. Bolton joined the Trump administration April 9 2018.

According to Newsweek, Bolton opposed the idea of Trump meeting with Taliban leaders this week at Camp David. There are also reports that he “clashed” with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for months to the point that the two men haven’t spoken for some time.

Bolton says he technically ‘resigned’ and was not fired.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1171452880055746560

(lead image via Flickr/WhiteHouse)

 

Trump Fires National Security Adviser McMaster, Brings In Ultra-Hawk John Bolton

Donald Trump

There is NO CHAOS at the White House! Got that?

But – that aside, we began the day with Donald Trump’s lead lawyer quitting his team for the special counsel’s investigation.

Then, the Trumpster’s first Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said goodbye to the state department.

Now, Trump has fired his national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and has announced ultra-hawk former U. N. Ambassador John Bolton.

From The New York Times:

Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the battle-tested Army officer tapped as President Trump’s national security adviser last year to stabilize a turbulent foreign policy operation, will resign and be replaced by John R. Bolton, a hard-line former United States ambassador to the United Nations, White House officials said Thursday.

General McMaster will retire from the military, the officials said. He has been discussing his departure with President Trump for several weeks, they said, but decided to speed up his departure, in part because questions about his status were casting a shadow over his conversations with foreign officials.

The officials also said that Mr. Trump wanted to fill out his national security team before his meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un. He replaced Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson with the C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, last week.

Voters in 2016 that went for Trump voted for him, in part, because of Trump’s hard line opposition to the Iraq War. And now, he brings in the ultra-hawkish John Bolton who still thinks the Iraq War was a good idea.

This marks Trump’s 3rd national security adviser in only 14 months in office.

Btw – the stock market crashed 724 points over Trump’s proposed $60 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports.

But, there’s NO CHAOS in the White House. Got that?

Just some of the reactions from the Twitterverse: