Bolton has conclusive evidence of Donald Trump’s guilt. Will it make a difference to Senate Republicans?

If you thought it was a cover-up before, just wait!

The New York Times has just revealed that the White House, for the past several weeks, has had a draft of John Bolton’s soon-to-be-released book — a book which includes within it the former Trump administration national security advisor’s recollection of the President having told him that, yes, he was withholding vital military aid from an ally at war because he wanted to coerce them into launching a phony investigation into his Democratic rival in the 2020 presidential race. This, as Congressman Adam Schiff said earlier this evening, “directly contradicts the heart of the President’s defense,” which is that his decision on the part of Trump’s to withhold aid was completely unrelated to his desire that an investigation into Joe Biden be announced by the Ukrainian government. And, if true, this makes it all the more clear why Mitch McConnell has been so adamant that John Bolton not be called as a witness. He knew that Bolton had first-hand evidence that would corroborate the narrative so eloquently put forward by the House Impeachment Managers… Oh, and, according to the New York Times, Bolton, in his book, also intends to show that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr, and Acting Chief of Staff Mike Mulvaney were in the loop… Here’s an excerpt.

President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.

The president’s statement as described by Mr. Bolton could undercut a key element of his impeachment defense: that the holdup in aid was separate from Mr. Trump’s requests that Ukraine announce investigations into his perceived enemies, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, who had worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was in office.

Mr. Bolton’s explosive account of the matter at the center of Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial, the third in American history, was included in drafts of a manuscript he has circulated in recent weeks to close associates. He also sent a draft to the White House for a standard review process for some current and former administration officials who write books…

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.

Mr. Bolton also said that after the president’s July phone call with the president of Ukraine, he raised with Attorney General William P. Barr his concerns about Mr. Giuliani, who was pursuing a shadow Ukraine policy encouraged by the president, and told Mr. Barr that the president had mentioned him on the call. A spokeswoman for Mr. Barr denied that he learned of the call from Mr. Bolton; the Justice Department has said he learned about it only in mid-August.

And the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, was present for at least one phone call where the president and Mr. Giuliani discussed the ambassador, Mr. Bolton wrote. Mr. Mulvaney has told associates he would always step away when the president spoke with his lawyer to protect their attorney-client privilege…

This, as you might imagine, has the House Impeachment Managers once again calling for Senate Republicans to do the right thing, and subpoena John Bolton to appear before them. Here’s their statement.

Will it make a difference? I’m doubtful. But a new Fox News poll came out today saying that a full 50% of American voters now believe that the Senate should both vote to convict Donald Trump and remove him from office. And, we got word from Republican Senator Mitt Romney that he’ll “very likely” vote in favor of hearing witness testimony. And that was before both this most recent revelation from Bolton, and the release of the audio of Donald Trump having dinner with Lev Parnas, a man who, just also week, the President said he didn’t know. So, who knows. Maybe we’re at an inflection point were the Republicans feel as though they can afford to cast Trump aside and still have a shot in 2020 with Pence. [We know that they’d never just cast Trump aside because it’s the right thing to do, but maybe the calculus guiding their sense of self-preservation is changing, and Donald Trump is becoming more of threat as we approach the election.]

As Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer just said, we only need four Republicans (out of 53) to do the right thing and expose this cover-up for what it is. So please pick up your phone and call your Senators. And tell everyone you know to do the same.

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  1. iRobert
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    The Republicans should call Michael Bolton to testify.

  2. iRobert
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Schiff is in CNN now.

  3. iRobert
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Shifty Schiff is talking about Boltin’ Bolton on CNN now.

  4. iRobert
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Democratic Party strategists know that the best scenario is for the maximum of damning evidence come out in such a fashion so as to fall just short of getting Trump removed.

  5. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    When the defense is dismantling the accusations using the prosecutions own witness testimony you might have some truth issues.

    Listen, you guys should have read the Mueller report, you should have listened to the house impeachment testimony, you should have read the Horowitz report. You should have used your brains!

    Instead of doing those basic things you allowed yourselves to be brainwashed by the non sensical repetitions of your favorite parakeets.

  6. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    The good news is you will be a part of history.

  7. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    The bad news is you will be a part of history.

  8. Lynne
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    FF, yes. Some of us (not you!) seem to be on the right side of history. The president is guilty of the crimes he is accused of and it is pretty obvious. The Senate is running a sham trial where they are allowing the defense to claim that not enough evidence is being presented even while they are actively not allowing that evidence to be presented. It is BS but it is how things works.

  9. Posted January 27, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    For Republicans and Trump supporters who don’t want to support a cover-up:

  10. wobblie
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, Lynne you of course mean “high crimes and misdemeanors’. The Senate is running a political trial. Impeachment is nothing if not a political act. The purpose of which is if not “regime change” at least the removal of an elected President. If you are going to raise the issue to an existential struggle over the nature of the Republic–you better be prepared to go all in–or admit it is all Kabuki theater.
    Please note, the only time an impeachment has been successful was following years of direct action in the streets against the regime. If they don’t fear you, they will just dismiss you.

  11. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think so, Lynne.

  12. Wobblie
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Aloha the GOP Hunter Biden anti-Biden commercial they have included in their impeachment arguments are fun. Democrats better send Joe to retirement now. He will be a total loser against Trump—his corruption not Trumps would be the issue.

  13. iRobert
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m probably enjoying this exposure of the Biden Barisma payoff almost as much as HW, FF and EOS are.

  14. Lynne
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie, Biden hasn’t done anything illegal. And while I don’t agree that the children of politicians should get any extra privilege from that association, it is a reality that it happens. Totally legally and above board. The notion though that the GOP, with Trump giving unheard of privileges to his own children, criticising Biden over this is laughable except of course their logic is what is ok for the GOP is not ok for the Dems.

  15. New York Times
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    President Trump falsely tweeted this morning that House Democrats didn’t seek John Bolton’s testimony. They did, in October, but Bolton’s lawyers said he wouldn’t appear voluntarily.

  16. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Somebody saying some stuff is now “conclusive evidence”?

    That makes me want to say some stuff.

  17. Wobblie
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, just heard that the Senate public galleries have been half empty during the proceedings and that TV viewing is down 30% from the House proceedings. I heard last weak that the Senate switchboards has normal call levels.
    You all better get on the Bernie bandwagon, because these corporate Dems are proving to be total incompetent.
    The Dems lose in 2020 it might be the 30’s before they are back in the game — he who controls the government at census time ….

  18. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry. I don’t want to be a pain but I find it hard to let this kind of basic stuff go. Can Mark explain how Bolton’s (alleged) allegations are “conclusive proof”? It’s so basic isn’t it? I don’t know how an honest and intelligent person could make so many basic mistakes.

  19. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    **conclusive evidence**

  20. Wobblie
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Aloha FF, I really don’t think anyone is contesting the facts as outlined. The Republicans simply don’t believe these facts, including the alleged quid pro quo are impeachable. It is about power. I just heard the defenders layout a similar quid pro quo between Obama and the Russian Prime Mjj in minister in 2014 that no one thought was impeachable. What ever spin you have on the facts are irrelevant. This is about power.

  21. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    I agree that it is unlikely anything hinges upon whether or not Trump actually withheld aid or a WH meeting for an investigation into Burisma. Usually people at least want to be able to score on the imaginary goalposts they are setting up for themselves though. If they can’t even do that it is just pathetic. Is dotarded a word?

  22. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Conclusive evidence of guilt? That is quite the statement, no?

  23. Wobblie
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Aloha I can see it now Sanders Gabbard 16 years to transform the future versus Trump Pence 12 Years to Armageddon. Which program wins?

  24. Anonymous
    Posted January 28, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Guilty – of doing his job.

    I think the grand jury indictments of the Bidens will lead to a quick end to the impeachment charade.

  25. Wobblie
    Posted January 28, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Aloha. Since the impeachment trial is seemingly heading to its for ordained conclusion I’m going to talk about the primary.

    This new rule the Democrats have about needing at least 15% to get any state delegates is going to help Sanders rather than hurt him. It may very well be that Sanders will get the most delegates from Iowa, New Hampshire and S. Carolina. The way the polls look right now, the only other candidate who will get any delegates from those states will be Biden (assuming Biden doesn’t implode by March.).
    Super Tuesday is likely to be down to just those two with everyone else being an also ran.

  26. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 30, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    It’s about as conclusive as Schiff’s supposed secret evidence he never produced that Donald Trump conspired with Russia to steal the election.

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