U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton delivers a speech at the American Center in Tokyo Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2004. Bolton named North Korea, Iran and Syria among the worst proliferators of weapons of mass destruction, as he called for shipments to the countries and terrorist groups to be monitored more closely. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
John Bolton has now stated that he will testify if requested by the Senate. This is a departure from his prior seeking of judicial clarity on whether he should appear or listen to the White House’s order not to show due to executive privilege.
Bolton was initially piggy-backing on the case of another “witness” in order to get an answer, but the Democrats decided to stop their pursuit of Charles Kupperman. This led to the judge dismissing the challenge because he found the question moot.
In other words, the Democrats are so unconcerned with “getting the facts” that they purposely dropped the subpoenas of people they formerly claimed to be important witnesses. They did this to stop the court from answering the constitutional question at play.
As Johnathan Turley points out, this is another embarrassing testament to just how unserious this effort is.
When faced with the embarrassing timing of that ruling after the hurried impeachment vote, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff insisted there was no time to waste in getting the case to the Senate and that “it has taken us eight months to get a lower court ruling” to compel McGahn to testify. But after members claimed there was a “crime spree in progress” and no time to waste, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blocked any submission to the Senate to demand witnesses that the House unwisely omitted in its investigation. So it seems time is no longer of the essence.
In response to the Democrat machinations, Bolton says he’ll go ahead and talk if subpoenaed. Here’s the statement from his PAC.
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.
Could we start by just pointing out that it’s the most D.C. establishment thing ever that John Bolton has his own PAC that he’s running legal statements through? What does John Bolton need a PAC for? But I digress.
This statement makes it seem like Bolton is eager to go ahead and testify. But what’s he really have to offer? I think that’s the most relevant question in all this. Would John Bolton, who the President had been butting heads with for a while, actually have been in on some kind of wrongdoing, thereby having evidence to present of such?
I’m skeptical for several reasons. One, if he did, Democrats wouldn’t have rushed impeachment and would have instead let the judge rule. If Bolton’s testimony were actually the silver bullet to make their case (whereby their current complaining about the Senate not investigating further, they are admitting it hasn’t been made) then they’d have done everything to ensure it was part of the articles passed.
Two, believing that John Bolton is going to save Democrats from themselves after he took their rabid abuse for over a decade seems a bit too optimistic. There’s a large gulf between being personally peeved at Trump and siding with Adam Schiff’s theories to help propel the left into power, the same left that Bolton vehemently opposes on foreign policy.
Lastly, I suspect Bolton has no direct evidence to offer anyway, i.e. even if wants to nail Trump here, he’s likely to only be able to offer more anecdotes and second hand information. By Bolton’s own admission, he was not part of what was going on between Giuliani and Sondland. Therefore, his testimony appears to be no more valuable than that of Bill Taylor, who provided nothing worthwhile in the end.
From what I can tell, the public have already checked out on this story. Democrats blew this by rushing through their articles of impeachment. They then set the remains on fire by refusing to hand them to the Senate, once again telegraphing how much of a joke their process is. John Bolton isn’t going to change that, nor do I think the Senate will even oblige him in handing him a subpoena. Mitch McConnell has made it clear he’s not budging off the Clinton-era rules. As long as he holds the line, there’s nothing more Democrats can do.