House Democrats have gotten a number of witnesses to testify in impeachment related hearings. However, they’ve set their sights on the biggest name so far: former National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York recently spoke to Fox News’ Martha MacCallum about what Bolton’s testimony would mean.
“The other witnesses, there were people listening on the call. There were people in the State Department, you know, they know about things from their peripheral positions, but they don’t really get you inside the White House,” York said. “And John Bolton would do that.”
Bolton joined the Trump administration in April of 2018, having previously served under President Reagan and both Bushes. He was known to be a foreign policy hawk and a strong supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a war that President Trump frequently criticized during the 2016 campaign.
Trump claimed Bolton was “holding me back”
On September 10, 2019, Trump announced
that he had told Bolton his “services are no longer needed” as the two had experienced “many” disagreements.
Bolton contradicted this account in a tweet of his own, stating that he offered to resign on September 9, with Trump replying, “Let’s talk about it tomorrow.” That claim was repeated
to members of the media.
Following his departure, Trump accused
Bolton of “holding me back” and said his own views were “far stronger” than Bolton’s had been.
Still, regardless of whatever hostility that may exist between the two, getting Bolton to testify would involve clearing a large hurdle.
“I will say, if anything is covered by executive privilege, it would be the president’s private conversations with his national security adviser about issues of foreign policy and national security,” York explained. “This is confidential advice the president is receiving from a top aide in an area in which the Constitution gives the president a lot of powers.”
According to York, Democrats have an electoral interest in hurrying the process along.
“There’s another problem here, which is that Democrats are racing the clock with their 2020 presidential race,” York said. “Six candidates in the Democratic race right now are members of the Senate who, if there were a trial, they’d be basically chained to their desk in Washington.”
York noted that Bolton hasn’t ruled out testifying.
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