Former national security advisor John Bolton has thrown a wrench into the works of the Republican plan to quickly terminate the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Bolton quit his job with the administration (or was fired, depending on who you believe, him or the president) and has written a soon-to-be-published book that could be relevant to the trial. In the manuscript, he says Trump told him directly that the administration would withhold crucial military aid to embattled Ukraine in an attempt to coerce the Ukrainian government into announcing a bogus investigation of Trump’s chief political rival, former-Vice President Joe Biden, as well as into a false accusation promoted by the Russians that the Ukrainians meddled in the 2016 presidential election.
Contents of Bolton’s book were leaked to the New York Times and, now that his version of events is public, it puts more pressure on the Senate GOP majority to extend the impeachment trial and bring in Bolton as a witness. The added days of deliberation could run past Feb. 4, the date of Trump’s state of the union address. That could rob him of the chance to crow about exoneration in front of the assembled members of Congress.
In all probability, even if Bolton’s testimony confirms the House Democrats’ case against Trump, the Republicans will choose to ignore such a hot smoking gun and vote against removing him from office. Nevertheless, Bolton’s words give the sane world confirmation that the president acted with nefarious motives to undercut a fledgling democracy in a time of peril and, thereby, shame his own country.
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