Like every other ousted Trump cabinet member, former national security advisor/human mustache John Bolton got a book deal. In it, Bolton reportedly writes that Trump did, in fact, want to keep withholding aid to Ukraine until the Ukrainian government agreed to investigate the Bidens, which seems like information he might want to share more publicly?
According to the New York Times, in a draft of the yet-to-be-published memoir, Bolton claims Trump personally told him the president wanted to withhold $391 million promised in aid to Ukraine, in an apparent effort to bully officials in Ukraine to look into Hunter Biden’s employment at Ukrainian natural gas producer Burisma Holdings. If Bolton’s accounting is correct, it, uh certainly bolsters the Democrats’ impeachment argument against Trump.
Bolton also reportedly implicated some other Team Trump members, not that any of it should be surprising. Per the Times:
Over dozens of pages, Mr. Bolton described how the Ukraine affair unfolded over several months until he departed the White House in September. He described not only the president’s private disparagement of Ukraine but also new details about senior cabinet officials who have publicly tried to sidestep involvement.
For example, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged privately that there was no basis to claims by the president’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani that the ambassador to Ukraine was corrupt and believed Mr. Giuliani may have been acting on behalf of other clients, Mr. Bolton wrote.
Note that the public may never get to read Bolton’s account, not that they should pay for this book anyway. Bolton reportedly sent the manuscript to the White House for prepublication review, which means there’s plenty of time for pushback and revisions.
But they could watch Bolton testify on national television—the Times’s sources say the manuscript is a rough outline of what Bolton would say under oath if called upon to testify at the impeachment trial. Bolton said earlier this month that he would do it if subpoenaed by the Senate, which probably won’t happen, since the White House keeps blocking the Democrats’ requests for testimony. The Hill reports that the Dems are pushing even harder for Bolton to speak in the wake of this quid pro quo news drop, but I wouldn’t take any bets on it.
And if you’re curious, Bolton got a $2 million advance for this memoir.