As the Ukraine scandal was blowing up a while back, Kay pointed out that given Trump’s well-documented greed and corruption, we can be certain he abused his power for personal gain in interactions with other countries besides Ukraine. She suggested the exposure of Trump’s malfeasance in Ukraine is lifting just “one corner of a very lumpy rug.”
The Times got its mitts on further excerpts of Bolton’s book, which lifts other corners and implicates AG William Barr:
WASHINGTON — John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, privately told Attorney General William P. Barr last year that he had concerns that President Trump was effectively granting personal favors to the autocratic leaders of Turkey and China, according to an unpublished manuscript by Mr. Bolton.
Mr. Barr responded by pointing to a pair of Justice Department investigations of companies in those countries and said he was worried that Mr. Trump had created the appearance that he had undue influence over what would typically be independent inquiries, according to the manuscript. Backing up his point, Mr. Barr mentioned conversations Mr. Trump had with the leaders, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and President Xi Jinping of China.
Mr. Bolton’s account underscores the fact that the unease about Mr. Trump’s seeming embrace of authoritarian leaders, long expressed by experts and his opponents, also existed among some of the senior cabinet officers entrusted by the president to carry out his foreign policy and national security agendas.
Barr’s spokeswoman denied the conversation ever happened and accused Bolton of projecting his own views onto Barr. Why did Bolton go to Barr in the first place? Was it not obvious to him Barr is up to his neck in Trump’s fuckery? Maybe it’s harder for wingnuts to accept that Barr is a corrupt Trump flunky with his own agenda because he’s been a DC fixture for so long?
You’d think the cautionary tale Bolton sees in the mirror while trimming his iconic mustache would be a clue, but oh well. Or maybe this is Bolton’s opening salvo in a bid to discredit Barr with fellow Republicans should the entire Trump scam collapse? If so, I wish him godspeed, the warmongering shit-stain.
Anyhoo, The Times article cites Bolton’s earlier allegation (in a private speech) that Trump’s eagerness to curry favor with Turkish President Erdoğan by torpedoing an investigation into a Turkish bank is related to Trump’s business interests in the region. (The investigation was restarted when the corrupt move to quash it attracted unwanted attention — shades of the aid release in Ukraine!)
Bolton also alleges that Trump gushes over China’s President Xi and relaxed sanctions on a Chinese telecom over Republican and national security agency objections because Trump required Xi’s assistance after painting himself into a corner with the trade war.
Outside Bolton’s claim that he raised concerns with Barr, this isn’t new information — the bank investigation and telecom sanctions removal always looked fishy as hell. And Trump’s gonna Trump, so I’m confident any investigation into Trump’s behavior in any interaction with a foreign or domestic entity, including a Girl Scout cookie sale, would reveal a cesspool of self-dealing and fraud.
But it’s good that the topics have been reintroduced in the middle of the impeachment trial, if only to remind the Republican senators currently engaged in a massive cover-up of just how lumpy the rug they’re standing on is — and how quickly it could be snatched out from under them.