Back when Donald Trump first ordered the assassination of Iranian leader Qasem Soleimani, Palmer Report and others wondered aloud if Trump had done it in an attempt at convincing John Bolton not to testify against him in his impeachment trial. After all, there’s no bigger Iran war hawk than Bolton. Of course there was no evidence to back up this theory, only logic. But now it turns out there’s some evidence after all.
After the New York Times reported last night that John Bolton’s upcoming book confirms Donald Trump’s Ukraine quid pro quo, Bolton’s attorney released a clarifying statement to the media, confirming that Bolton had sent an advance copy of his book to the Trump White House nearly a month ago. Bolton did this because he needed to give the White House time to review his book and confirm that it didn’t contain any classified information. But here’s the kicker.
We now know that Donald Trump and his White House came into possession of John Bolton’s book on December 30th, 2019. Trump assassinated Soleimani just four days later, on January 3rd, 2020. In other words, immediately after Trump learned that Bolton was planning to confirm Trump’s Ukraine crimes, and that Bolton was therefore likely going to testify against Trump at his impeachment trial, Trump ordered a ridiculous military move that was right up Bolton’s alley. As proof of how tailor-made this assassination was to Bolton’s liking, Bolton tweeted positively about it, even as just about everyone else was calling it reckless.
John Bolton is still releasing his book, and he’s still pretty looking to promote his book by testifying at the impeachment trial. So if Donald Trump did this specifically to try to appease and silence Bolton, it clearly didn’t work. But now we have a specific timeline which confirms that Trump knew Bolton was looking to sell him out at the time Trump ordered an assassination that almost no one but Bolton ended up applauding. This isn’t proof that Trump assassinated Soleimani to try to silence Bolton, but it’s certainly evidence. We must get to the bottom of this.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report