Bolton Speaks Out In Support Of Officials Who’ve Testified

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As President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial seemingly gears up to wrap up this week, a prime subject of the latest trial debate, Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton, has spoken out in support of administration officials who’ve testified, a group that Congressional Democrats have tried to make him a part of. At a private client luncheon in Austin, Texas, that was hosted by a management consulting firm on Thursday, Bolton insisted that those involved with the Trump administration should “feel they’re able to speak their minds without retribution.”

He continued, referencing a list of officials who’ve already testified publicly and privately as part of the impeachment inquiry:

‘All of them acted in the best interest of the country as they saw it and consistent to what they thought our policies were. The idea that somehow testifying to what you think is true is destructive to the system of government we have — I think, is very nearly the reverse — the exact reverse of the truth.’

That’s a starkly different perspective than the president’s current team, which allegedly told Senate Republicans that if they vote against the president on something related to impeachment, they’ll have their “head on a pike.” Republicans raised a self-righteous uproar when House impeachment case manager Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) mentioned that reporting on the floor of the Senate, but the president’s public behavior confirms the sentiment. He’s mocked those who’ve testified as supposed “Never Trumpers,” meaning that they’re supposedly politically opposed to him no matter what, and that hardly covers the tirades that he’s dished out against the investigators themselves.

When his side began to present their defense in the trial, he tweeted:

Our case against lyin’, cheatin’, liddle’ Adam “Shifty” Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer, Nervous Nancy Pelosi, their leader, dumb as a rock AOC, & the entire Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrat Party, starts today at 10:00 A.M.’

Remember — this is the president of the United States talking about duly elected members of Congress. In other words, he is off the rails.

As for Bolton, he seems likely not to get called as a witness after all. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) have said that they’d support hearing from witnesses, but Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who was eyed as the necessary fourth vote for a majority (if Alaska’s Murkowski joined them too), announced on Thursday that he’d oppose hearing from witnesses, including Bolton.

Alexander claimed:

‘I worked with other senators to make sure that we have the right to ask for more documents and witnesses, but there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the U.S. Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense.’

Similarly to the president’s own defense team, Alexander went on to argue that Trump’s attempt to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political rivals was “inappropriate” but not enough to impeach him over.

As he claimed:

‘But the Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office and ban him from this year’s ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate.’

And thus, fairness got set back even further.