Trump Tied Ukraine Aid With Biden Investigation, Bolton Book Draft Says: NY Times
President Donald Trump insisted on withholding key military aid to Ukraine until its government helped in investigating his democratic rival even as the most prominent officials in his administration continued to press him to do otherwise, Trump’s former National Security Advisor John Bolton has described in a draft of his book, according to the New York Times.
The draft describes what Bolton could tell the Congress if he’s asked to testify in the impeachment trial against the President, the Times noted. The 71-year old has said that he will testify if subpoenaed, which, according to Trump, could be a potential “national security problem.”
Bolton, who left the office last September over differences with Trump, said he, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper “collectively pressed the President about releasing the aid nearly a dozen times,” but Trump rebuffed them, the Times reports.
Pompeo, in private conversations, also disapproved of the President’s personal lawyer Rudolph Giuliani’s assertion that the ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who was later fired, was corrupt, Bolton said in the manuscript, according to the Times.
Giuliani may have had private motives to have Yovanovitch removed, Pompeo allegedly told Bolton.
Why It Matters
The former NSA’s remarks, if true, go directly against the primary argument of Trump’s defense that the decision to withhold the aid was not connected to any inquiry against the democratic rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
President Trump was impeached on December 18 by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The Republican-controlled Senate is currently hearing the arguments but is unlikely to remove Trump from office. Nevertheless, leading Democrats are asking the Senate to call for witnesses and testimonies and ensure a fair trial.
“John Bolton has the evidence. It’s up to four Senate Republicans to ensure that John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, and the others with direct knowledge of President Trump’s actions testify in the Senate trial,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Twitter, quoting the Times article.
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