The Slatest

John Bolton Makes Clear He Has a Lot of Relevant Information for Impeachment Inquiry

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as John Bolton listens at the Oval Office of the White House on August 20, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as John Bolton listens at the Oval Office of the White House on August 20, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former national security adviser John Bolton appears dismayed that House impeachment investigators aren’t making more of an effort to get his testimony. His lawyer said that Bolton was “part of many relevant meetings and conversations” related to the impeachment investigation. But he is still unwilling to testify unless a federal judge rules he can ignore the White House’s objections. Bolton was scheduled to testify on Thursday but he was a no-show and his attorney said he would fight any subpoena in court.

Democrats have refrained from issuing a subpoena because they want to avoid getting drawn into a lengthy legal battle, saying that is the ultimate goal of the administration. And there are some who seem to think that at the end of the day, Bolton, who has long believed on the need of a strong Executive branch, is unlikely to think President Donald Trump acted inappropriately. At the same time though, the testimony in the investigation so far seems to make pretty clear that the Trump White House became split on the issue of whether to use the U.S. relationship with Ukraine for domestic political gain.

The testimony reveals that that Bolton was on one side of the aisle, resisting pressure from Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff, to take domestic political fights into the international arena. And the reason why Bolton’s testimony may be key, the New York Times notes, is because he would be able to testify directly about what the president said. Most of the other witnesses so far have been able to provide information about what those close to the president said but “few recounted any direct conversations with Mr. Trump,” points out the Times.