Peter Baker and Neal Katyal opine about John Bolton's book, which would have been a lot more impressive if he actually gave up the info during impeachment.
June 17, 2020

Peter Baker gives us a sneak peak at John Bolton's memoir, set to be released next week, and it's filled with dirt about Trump, his minions, and how they really feel about him. Spoiler alert. They know he's a sham.

By itself, it doesn't sound particularly revelatory, since this is not the first book by an administration insider to be published. I just finished "A Very Stable Genius," and there were plenty gobsmacking details in there about the ignoramus-in-chief, the lickspittles who cater to his every whim, and the few grown ups who dared raise their hands to object.

No other book, though, is written by someone so high up in the administration, nor whose publication Trump has gone to such great lengths to stop. Nicolle Wallace's intro lists just a few of the reasons why:

WALLACE: Quote, Mr. Bolton describes several episodes where the president expressed willingness to halt criminal investigations. Quote, "to in effect give personal favors to dictators he liked, citing cases involving major firms in China and Turkey." Quote, "the pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn't accept," Mr. Bolton writes, adding that he reported his concerns to Attorney General Barr. On the topic of impeachment, Baker adds this. Quote, "The book confirms House testimony that Bolton was wary of all along of the president's actions with regard to Ukraine, and that Trump explicitly linked the security aid to investigations involving Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton." On August 20th, Bolton writes, Trump, quote, "said he wasn't in favor of sending them anything until all the Russia investigation materials related to Clinton and Biden had been turned over." Bolton writes that he, Pompeo, and Mark Esper tried eight to ten times to get Trump to release the aid.[...] Peter Baker, he also writes that Mike Pompeo said behind Donald Trump's back, "He's full of shit." Tell us some of the other good scoop in here, before everybody remembers how angry they are at John Bolton for not participating in that Senate impeachment trial.

I don't know about you, but I like Potty-Mouth Nicolle. Furthermore, I am perfectly capable of hearing all there is to hear in Bolton's book without losing sight of what a traitorous, cowardly piece of sh*t he is for not coming forward with it when it might have actually helped the nation.

As usual, Wallace brought things around to where they belonged: on the illegality and wrongdoing.

WALLACE: Neal Katyal, it's easy to be blinded by John Bolton's depiction of Donald Trump as a buffoon. I mean, stupidity that he details is staggering. But what rings through, is that if he was anyone but the president, there are probably a half a dozen instances that I read in Peter's story, that anyone else would be referred to DOJ for prosecution. I mean, is the corruption criminal?

KATYAL: It very well could be, so I mean, I think that that's exactly the right question. I know lot of people are focusing on Bolton and his motivation and stuff. The story here is not Bolton. The story is Donald Trump and the fact that his top aide, his former National Security Adviser, is documenting a pattern of definitely impeachable and indeed criminal conduct here. And that is just an astounding thing. And the irony for Bolton is that he writes this book, which is all about how the president is abusing his national security powers in aid of his personal political goals. And now Bolton faces a lawsuit for exactly that. The same course of conduct, in which the president has politicized the pre-classification review process to try to stop publication of the book. It's obviously not working. Peter's already got a copy of it. But has done that in and displaced the career officials who do that with political apparatchiks who have tried to hold up the book and now they have gone to court to try to stop him. It won't work, it's not working already, but it shows a desperate and frankly incompetent administrative move.

I really like Katyal's take. Bolton isn't the story. He wants the attention and the praise (and the money...), but let's not give him ANY of that. Focus on the criminality detailed, let the book LEAK (don't spend a dime, please), and let Congress subpoena Bolton to testify on the material he has put out there into the public eye. This coward deserves nothing but derision.

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