by WorldTribune Staff, January 30, 2020
Democrats who in the past said John Bolton has no credibility now say his testimony is essential to the “search for truth” in the Senate impeachment trial.
Fox News uncovered video of Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democrats’ lead House impeachment manager, saying Bolton had a distinct “lack of credibility” and was prone to “conspiracy theories.”
“This is someone who’s likely to exaggerate the dangerous impulses of the president toward belligerence, his proclivity to act without thinking, and his love of conspiracy theories,” Schiff told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on March 22, 2018, when Trump named Bolton national security adviser.
“And I’ll, you know, just add one data point to what you were talking about earlier, John Bolton once suggested on Fox News that the Russian hack of the DNC [Democratic National Committee] was a false flag operation that had been conducted by the Obama administration,” Schiff said. “So, you add that kind of thinking to [former U.S. attorney] Joe diGenova and you have another big dose of unreality in the White House.”
In a 2005 interview with CNN’s “Crossfire”, Schiff said of Bolton, who was up for nomination as ambassador to the United Nations under then-President George W. Bush: “And particularly given the history, where we’ve had the politicizing of intelligence over WMD [weapons of mass destruction], why we would pick someone who the very same issue has been raised repeatedly, and that is John Bolton’s politicization of the intelligence he got on Cuba and other issues, why we would want someone with that lack of credibility, I can’t understand.”
Bolton himself had admitted in the past that he would be more than willing to lie if he felt it was in the nation’s best interest.
“If I had to say something I knew was false to protect American national security, I would do it,” Bolton said in an interview with Fox Business in 2010.
But Schiff now considers Bolton an important and believable witness and insisted this week that the former national security adviser should testify in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
Speaking to CNN on Monday, Schiff called Bolton essential to the “search for truth.”
“I think for the senators, and I’m just not talking about the four that have been so much the focus of attention, for every senator, Democrat and Republican, I don’t know how you can explain that you wanted a search for the truth in this trial and say you don’t want to hear from a witness who had a direct conversation about the central allegation in the articles of impeachment,” Schiff said on CNN’s “New Day.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was among a group of Democrats who in 2005 had characterized Bolton as a liar.
Thirty-six Senate Democrats signed a letter to then-President Bush in 2005 urging him not to make a recess appointment of Bolton at the UN, saying “he was not truthful” on a Senate questionnaire.
Among those signing the letter were Schumer and then-Sens. Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Biden, then a top member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a hearing that Bolton “repeatedly made misleading, disingenuous or nonresponsive statements to this committee. … He doesn’t like to hear dissent. He doesn’t like to follow rules. He’s a bad manager of people. He can’t see the forest for the trees. And he mischaracterizes the views of his colleagues.”
After Bush did use a recess appointment for Bolton, Biden wrote the president to object on Aug. 1, 2005.
“We need someone who has credibility with the international community and Americans can trust. That is not John Bolton,” Biden wrote.
The Senate is expected to vote on whether witnesses will be called on Friday. Four Republican defections would be needed to allow for witnesses. In the event of a 50-50 tie, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts is highly likely to abstain rather than assert his debatable power to cast a tie-breaking vote.
Republicans, who have a 53-47 majority in the Senate, suggested to Fox News that they would amend any witness resolution that subpoenas Bolton to also require the appearance of several additional witnesses favorable to the Trump administration — likely killing support in the Senate for the whole witness package altogether.
Bolton’s book is titled “The Room Where It Happened” and is scheduled for release in March.
The New York Times reported that Bolton’s draft manuscript includes a claim that Trump explicitly linked a hold on military aid to Ukraine to an investigation of Joe and Hunter Biden.
On Wednesday, the White House revealed it had told Bolton not to publish the book about his time in the Trump administration until classified material is removed from the manuscript.
“Under federal law and the nondisclosure agreements your client signed as a condition for gaining access to classified information, the manuscript may not be published or otherwise disclosed without the deletion of this classified information,” Ellen J. Knight, a National Security Council (NSC) aide, wrote in a letter to Bolton attorney Charles J. Cooper last week, which was obtained by Fox News.