Ambassador Bolton, the Frank Burns of American national security, has allowed his unpublished manuscript to be selectively leaked to Maggie Haberman and Michael Schmidt at The New York Times. Bolton’s book deal reportedly came with a $2 million advance! Haberman and Schmidt have excerpted the material that is pertinent to the President’s impeachment and which Bolton would not share with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence or the House Judiciary Committee because there isn’t any profit in doing so.
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to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.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.
Multiple people described Mr. Bolton’s account of the Ukraine affair.
The book presents an outline of what Mr. Bolton might testify to if he is called as a witness in the Senate impeachment trial, the people said. The White House could use the pre-publication review process, which has no set time frame, to delay or even kill the book’s publication or omit key passages.
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.
During a previously reported May 23 meeting where top advisers and Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, briefed him about their trip to Kyiv for the inauguration of President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr. Trump railed about Ukraine trying to damage him and mentioned a conspiracy theory about a hacked Democratic server, according to Mr. Bolton.
Charles J. Cooper, a lawyer for Mr. Bolton, declined to comment. The White House did not provide responses to questions about Mr. Bolton’s assertions, and representatives for Mr. Johnson, Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Mulvaney did not respond to emails and calls seeking comment on Sunday afternoon.
Mr. Bolton’s submission of the book to the White House may have given the White House lawyers direct insight into what Mr. Bolton would say if he were called to testify at Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial. It also intensified concerns among some of his advisers that they needed to block Mr. Bolton from testifying, according to two people familiar with their concerns.
Bolton’s real concern, according to Haberman’s and Schmidt’s reporting is that if he doesn’t get to testify in the President’s impeachment trial in the Senate, that people will think he’s only interested in his personal profit.
Mr. Bolton would like to testify for several reasons, according to associates. He believes he has relevant information, and he has also expressed concern that if his account of the Ukraine affair emerges only after the trial, he will be accused of holding back to increase his book sales.
Ambassador Bolton has long been known as a professionally toxic leader. But for some bizarre reason a portion of America’s very serious people have perceived him as being a legitimate, if somewhat extreme, national security professional who cares deeply about the national security of the United States. Those people need to have their heads examined! Bolton couldn’t care less about the national security of the United States. What Bolton cares about is using the national power of the United States, specifically its intelligence and military power, to prosecute his petty grievances with the rest of the world. And making money. Lots and lots and lots of money. Ambassador Bolton doesn’t have to worry about whether people will think he’s only in it for the money. That ship has sailed, got caught in a storm after leaving port, and has sunk. I’d call Ambassador Bolton a selfish, egomaniacal, megalomaniacal whore, but that would be insulting to selfish people, egomaniacs, megalomaniacs, and whores!
Also, and as something that needs to be called out: WTF is wrong with Haberman, Schmidt, their editor, and The New York Times that allowed this view from nowhere paragraph to make it into the article (emphasis mine):
He, Mr. Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper had collectively pressed the president about releasing the aid nearly a dozen times in the preceding weeks after lower-level officials who worked on Ukraine issues began complaining about the holdup, Mr. Bolton wrote. Mr. Trump had effectively rebuffed them, airing his longstanding grievances about Ukraine, which mixed legitimate efforts by some Ukrainians to back his Democratic 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, with unsupported accusations and outright conspiracy theories about the country, a key American ally.
If you cannot and will not bring yourselves as reporters at the paper of record in the US to unequivocally report this for what it is, a Russian created lie intended to get the President to lift sanctions on Russia, direct the power of the US against Ukraine, and achieve one of Putin’s strategic objectives, then you need to get out of the way and let reporters with professionalism and courage do the reporting. Haberman and Schmidt have failed here as journalism professionals as clearly as Ambassador Bolton has as a national security professional.