Latest impeachment drama: ‘Bombshell’ or book promo over foreign policy disagreement?

by WorldTribune Staff, January 28, 2020

In what some say was essentially a promotional press release for John Bolton’s book, The New York Times reported on Sunday that the former national security adviser will claim that President Donald Trump tied aid to Ukraine to an alleged promise by the country’s leaders to investigate the Bidens.

It was another “bombshell” according to the corporate and pro-Democrat Party media and served the Democrats’ strategy to insist on witnesses, particularly Bolton, to be called for the Senate impeachment trial.

Even if everything Bolton says about Trump in his upcoming book were true, it still would not rise to the level of an impeachable offense, Trump defense team member Alan Dershowitz said on Monday.

Dershowitz argued that even if the “quid pro quo” is true, that still “would not constitute an impeachable offense.”

When he fired Bolton after repeated policy feuds, Trump tweeted: “His services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration.”

A policy difference, Dershowitz emphasized, is not criteria for impeachment. “That’s a criteria for deciding who you’re going to vote for,” he told the Senate on Monday.

“Nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, would rise to the level of an abuse of power or an impeachable offense,” Dershowitz said.

“That is clear from the history, that is clear from the language of the Constitution. You cannot turn conduct that is not impeachable into impeachable conduct simply by using words like quid pro quo and personal benefit.”

During opening arguments by Trump’s legal team at the Senate impeachment trial on Monday, Dershowitz, a constitutional law scholar, addressed the contents of a leaked manuscript from Bolton’s book.

Bolton appeared to give the “quid pro quo” the Democrats and media have been clamoring for by saying Trump tied the Ukraine aid to an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Fred Fleitz, who served in 2018 as deputy assistant to the president and to the chief of staff of the National Security Council, is advising Bolton to withdraw his upcoming tell-all book.

In an op-ed for Fox News, Fleitz emphasized the “importance of protecting a president’s confidential discussions with his senior advisers.”

Fleitz, now president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington and a member of the board of advisors, noted that he has known Bolton for 30 years and served as his chief of staff twice.

Fleitz argued that a president “must be able to candidly consult with their advisers without worrying they will leak these discussions to the press or obtain high-dollar book contracts to publish them.”

“A book by a former national security adviser ahead of a president’s re-election bid may set a dangerous precedent since it could discourage future presidents from seeking advice from expert advisers on sensitive national security matters,” Fleitz wrote.

Fleitz said that if a manuscript of this sensitivity were to be published, it should happen after the election.

“I don’t understand the need for a former national security adviser to publish a tell-all book critical of a president he served, especially during a presidential re-election campaign that will determine the fate of the country,” Fleitz wrote. “There will be a time for Bolton to speak out without appearing to try to tip a presidential election.”

Meanwhile, moderate Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine suggested Monday that they would vote to hear from Bolton and other witnesses. The rules of the Senate trial require 51 votes to call witnesses.

“If they go down that road, you gotta go all the way down,” Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, told The Daily Caller. “If you’re gonna go down the witness road, you gotta have the whistleblower, you gotta have Hunter Biden.”

“The one I would prefer is the whistleblower,” Jordan said. “The guy who started it all. He wrote the complaint that’s got all kinds of factual mistakes in it. That was the basis for launching this ridiculous thing.”

President Trump and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney disputed the claims made in the NY Times story.

Trump’s legal team points out that, no matter how much Democrats and their media allies wish it to be true, foreign policy disagreements are not impeachable offenses.

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