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The New York Times threw a twist into the impeachment proceedings this week with a “bombshell” about what was supposedly in the manuscript of former national security adviser John Bolton’s new book that President Donald Trump wanted to hold up aid in exchange for investigations.
But they apparently are operating off the descriptions of people who supposedly saw the draft and didn’t have any quotes from the book. Which basically means they’re paraphrasing someone else’s opinion about Bolton’s opinion. Bolton did not confirm their report and he also disputed their account that he had distributed the book to “close associates.” Some of the alleged claims have already been disputed by both Office of Management and Budget head Mick Mulvaney and the DOJ.
In any event, whatever was said or not said to Bolton was irrelevant to the ultimate legal case however since there was no quid pro quo for investigation ever made to the Ukrainians. Trump might have thought, said or wanted anything, but if it didn’t happen, it didn’t happen.
But that didn’t stop the Democrats from flipping their lids and arguing that this was more evidence of why they needed to call Bolton and other witnesses. Some Republicans appeared amenable to those blandishments but it’s not clear if there are enough to pass the vote on witnesses, expected to be Friday. Latest alleged word from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was he believed he had the votes to block off calling witnesses, but it sounds close.
So here’s a little more information for those senators to evaluate.
Here’s John Bolton in an August interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty talking about the relationship with Ukraine. This is before he was let go and before he had a book to sell. In other words, likely what he truly thought without any improper motivation.
He even talks about the two phone calls and the meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky. His characterization of the calls the president had with Zelensky and the relationship? Not unusual, not concerning, but “warm and cordial.”
What do we have here….
John Bolton in an interview describing the conversation between President Trump and Ukraine President Zelinsky as warm and cordial in August 2019. pic.twitter.com/c0C1r1oInm
— Go Trump 🇺🇸 (@GKeile) January 29, 2020
Moreover, what does he note as a high priority for the administration? Maintaining a free Ukraine, “free of corruption.”
Sure doesn’t sound like he thinks there are any issues, right? Now, obviously, he’s not going to say everything to a reporter. But he doesn’t have to describe the calls as “warm and cordial” unless he truly believes that’s what they were. He isn’t forced to say that “corruption” is a priority of the administration. He doesn’t sound troubled or bothered by the relationship in the slightest.
So if indeed his book says what the NY Times alleges, and that’s a huge if, given their predilections for bias and inaccuracy, it may be an opinion influenced by being let go and selling a book.