Here’s a fascinating new twist. Donald Trump went on a Twitter rant last night suggesting that John Bolton’s new book and proposed impeachment testimony can’t be considered valid now, because back when Trump first fired Bolton, Bolton didn’t publicly say anything about Trump’s Ukraine scandal. We’re not sure how this logic is supposed to work, but in any case, it just went out the window.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel revealed this afternoon that back on September 23rd of last year, he had a phone call with John Bolton. During this call, Bolton “suggested to me—unprompted—that the committee look into the recall of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. He strongly implied that something improper had occurred around her removal as our top diplomat in Kyiv.”
What stands out here is that the day after this phone call took place, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi formally announced Donald Trump’s impeachment. There were already a number of moving pieces in impeachment by that point, including the whistleblower report. So it’s tough to say precisely what impact Bolton’s phone call ended up having on the escalating impeachment process.
But House Democrats surely felt more comfortable moving forward with Donald Trump’s impeachment, after John Bolton confirmed to them from the inside that something was corrupt in how Trump had handled Ukraine. You can have whatever opinion you want of how Bolton has handled himself throughout the impeachment process. But this new revelation certainly shoots down Trump’s weird argument that Bolton shouldn’t be allowed to say anything now because he didn’t say anything earlier.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report