It couldn’t be much more clear that John Bolton wants to testify in the impeachment hearings against Donald Trump, either to get his revenge, or to help boost sales of his upcoming tell-all book, or both. But Bolton has been playing games, because – for whatever reason – he wants the courts to give him legal cover for testifying. The thing is, Bolton could be of great help, but House Democrats don’t need him.
John Bolton failed to voluntarily show up to testify yesterday, even as his legal team let it be known that he wants to wait for a judge’s upcoming ruling about whether Don McGahn should testify. So the House Democrats announced that they’re just going to mark down Bolton’s absence as yet another instance of obstruction of justice on Donald Trump’s part and move on. They were calling Bolton’s bluff, and now it looks like it’s starting to work.
John Bolton has suddenly announced today through his lawyer that he has knowledge of “many relevant meetings and conversations that have not yet been discussed in the testimonies thus far.” Bolton is now literally advertising the importance of his testimony, all but begging House Democrats to let him testify. It’s clear that Bolton is afraid the Democrats will leave him behind, and he won’t get his opportunity to get his revenge and sell his books.
This means House Democrats now have the advantage in the chess game they’re playing with John Bolton. They’re going to keep moving forward with impeachment testimony on their own schedule – and if Bolton wants to get his shot at the microphone, he’ll have to either push the judge to rule more quickly, or go ahead and testify without waiting for the judge. Bolton’s response today suggests that, if he ends up having to, he’ll cave and do it the way House Democrats want.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report