Impeachment Witnesses Furious with Bolton for ‘Cashing in’ on Crisis
Bolton 'monetized' a crisis and is dangling vital national security information in exchange for a lucrative book deal, they say.
The diplomats and officials who provided testimony about the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine are anxious about what lies ahead, and angry with John Bolton for what they see as him “cashing in” on his knowledge, dangling vital national security information in exchange for a lucrative book deal.
Three former officials contrasted their public testimony to the behavior of officials like former national security adviser John Bolton, “who has monetized a national crisis, parlaying critical insider knowledge about the President’s dealings into a multi-million-dollar book deal even as he avoided testifying publicly,” reported CNN.
Bolton is “trying to have it both ways,” said one official, “dangling the fact that he knows details about Trump’s actions that have not yet been revealed.”
The former national security advisor wants to have a continued career in the national-security sector after parting ways with the Trump administration, sources say.
Bolton’s dance earned him ferocious criticism from officials who put their careers on the line in order to testify before the House, CNN reports.
Despite saying that he would be willing to provide testimony for the Senate, Bolton did not provide testimony in the impeachment proceedings. Through an attorney, he resisted a House subpoena, requesting clarification from the courts. The House eventually dropped that subpoena, and Bolton is walking away from the impeachment crisis unscathed.
“Great. So our lives are ruined, our names dragged through the mud, but [Bolton] gets to wash his hands of it,” said one official.
The witnesses also expressed disappointment in lawmakers, who will be able to return to their respective careers, and partisan corners, now that the trial is over.
One House impeachment witness summed up their experience by pointing to “all the carnage for something that doesn’t mean very much.”
CNN interviewed about half of the 17 witnesses that testified in the House trial. Although they’ve testified publicly, they requested anonymity due to concerns about their diplomatic careers.
Many described their frustration with a dysfunctional Congress.
“Republicans think Democrats are a threat to the nation, and the Democrats think the Republicans are a threat to the nation,” a second official who provided testimony explained. “Right now, we think the threat that we face is each other.”
Multiple sources voiced their frustration at both sides of the aisle — wishing that the Democrats had developed a stronger case and that Republicans had more seriously looked at the actions Trump had taken.
The officials CNN interviewed said they have so far “not faced backlash, apart from criticism from Trump,” and that they have mostly received praise from colleagues.
Officials said they “have gotten pats on the back in the State Department elevators from people they had never met, and notes from former ambassadors commending their integrity,” according to CNN.
Whether Trump will come after these officials in the future remains to be seen, but so far, he has not. One official said they don’t think Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or others at State “want to go after us.”
Bolton may end up back in the hot seat sooner than later, as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said he expects the House “will likely” subpoena the former national security adviser, even after Wednesday’s acquittal of Trump in the Senate impeachment trial. According to reports, Bolton’s book manuscript describes how Trump told him he was withholding aid to Ukraine until the Ukrainian government began investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.