U.S. Attorney General William Barr listens to concerns raised about public safety in rural Alaska during at a roundtable discussion at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska. Barr did not take questions from reporters in his first public appearance after former special prosecutor Robert Mueller spoke to reporters after resigning at the completion of his report into Russian interference into the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
As I said, with claims like these, apply the 48-hour rule.
People always jump on them and go crazy, then find out later they are nothing or some twisted version of the facts.
The NY Times made several claims about what was in the draft of John Bolton’s book including a claim that President Donald Trump wanted to trade aid for investigations. But there were several immediate problems with the claims, including that they didn’t even have any quotes from the book, which means that, at best, it’s them paraphrasing what they think was said. While Bolton hasn’t disputed them, he also has not confirmed the report. Office of Management and Budget head Mick Mulvaney has already disputed what they claimed about him as has the President.
Now the DOJ is disputing the part that referenced Attorney General Bill Barr.
According to the New York Times, Bolton’s book manuscript alleged he told Barr he had concerns about comments the President made to the leaders of Turkey and China and that it might appear he had had influence on investigations.
Didn’t happen, says the DOJ.
DOJ statement in response to tonight’s NYT story on John Bolton and Attorney General Barr. pic.twitter.com/WzekTSqY0f
— Kerri Kupec DOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) January 28, 2020
“While the Department of Justice has not reviewed Mr. Bolton’s manuscript, the New York Times’ account of this conversation grossly mischaracterizes what Attorney General Barr and Mr. Bolton discussed. There was no discussion of ‘personal favors’ or ‘undue influence’ on investigations, nor did Attorney General Barr state that the president’s conversations with foreign leaders was improper. If this is truly what Mr. Bolton has written, then it seems he is attributing to Attorney General Barr his own current views — views with which Attorney General Barr does not agree.”
So it sounds like basically what you have is Bolton’s thoughts about things with his own interpretations or projections, put in a blender with the New York Times’ interpretation, to pop out their current “facts” trying to influence the narrative on impeachment.
Senators and the public should recognize this for what it is, an effort to influence the vote on witnesses.