Bolton spoke last night about impeachment in a bit more of a candid way than he has thus far. Essentially, he slammed the House for making impeachment so partisan that no Republican would vote for it. But in the end, he said his testimony would no have mattered:
NBC NEWS – Former national security adviser John Bolton said Wednesday he was surprised that Senate Republicans rejected his offer to testify in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. But he said that even if he had testified, it wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the trial because of how House Democrats handled their investigation.
“I think the House committed impeachment malpractice,” Bolton said at an event at Vanderbilt University with Susan Rice, who was national security adviser during the administration of former President Barack Obama. “The process drove Republicans who might have voted for impeachment away” because “it was so partisan,” he said.
But, he added, “my testimony would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome.”
The way he describes it, I wonder if he wanted Republicans to vote for impeachment.
Bolton noted that he offered to testify in the Senate trial and that the House didn’t subpoena him after Democrats learned that he would seek a court ruling because the White House had told him not to testify.
He wouldn’t speculate about testifying before the House now if he is subpoenaed, because, he said, his lawyer has advised him not to take a position during a national security review by the White House of his book on his time as national security adviser.
Bolton says he’s not just trying to hawk his book…
Bolton also tried to deflect growing criticism that he isn’t speaking out because he’s simply out to sell his book about his 17 months in the Trump White House. He said he couldn’t speak out now because his book — “The Room Where it Happened”— is still undergoing a prepublication national security review and he believes Trump would have his administration sue him if he discussed its contents before that’s complete.
“I’m not out here flacking for it,” he said. “I believe I wrote a book that does not contain any classified information. The staff reviewing it says it does.
“But for all those who say that I should just spill my guts here or anywhere else, make no mistake,” he continued, “in the back of the position that there’s classified information in the manuscript is the implied threat of criminal prosecution.”
So essentially he’s saying that the White House is threatening to criminally prosecute him if he says anything about what’s in his book. Interesting.
He also criticized Trump on both Iran and N. Korea as well as his cancelled plans of inviting the Taliban to Camp David:
Bolton has criticized Trump’s policies on Iran and North Korea. On Wednesday, he called Trump’s strike in Syria in 2017 “utterly inadequate,” because it didn’t deter Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from using chemical weapons again. And he said the controversial decision to invite the Taliban to the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, last year was solely Trump’s. The meeting, which was scheduled for Sept. 11, was eventually canceled.
“There was only one person that I know of in the history of the United States government that’s ever favored bringing the Taliban to Camp David,” Bolton said.
He also delivered broader criticism of Trump’s approach to national security issues.
“I’m not aware in the Trump administration of any of the senior national security advisers who were ever shy about expressing their opinion. The only question is whether it ever mattered,” he said.
And at another point, he said: “You cannot have a consistent policy that only lasts for a day or two before it changes. You cannot do that.”
Sounds like Bolton is a bit jaded that Trump didn’t listen to him more. Perhaps that’s one reason he left, because he didn’t feel his contributions mattered.