The White House hoped the president’s trip to the World Economic Forum would shift attention away from impeachment, but an impromptu news conference often turned to the drama in Washington.
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The president asked his national security adviser last spring in front of other senior advisers to...The president asked his national security adviser last spring in front of other senior advisers to pave the way for a meeting between Rudolph Giuliani and Ukraine’s new leader.
Drafts of the book outline the potential testimony of the former national security adviser if he...Drafts of the book outline the potential testimony of the former national security adviser if he were called as a witness in the president’s impeachment trial.
Former national security adviser John Bolton reveals Trump directly confirmed a Ukraine quid pro quo in a conversation last year
Former national security adviser John Bolton claims President Donald Trump told him personally that he would...Former national security adviser John Bolton claims President Donald Trump told him personally that he would withhold military aid from Ukraine until it acceded to his demands for politically motivated investigations, The New York Times reported, citing an unpublished manuscript of Bolton's upcoming book. According to the manuscript, Trump conveyed his decision to Bolton in August of last year. The president is currently on trial in the Senate after he was impeached last month for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress related to his efforts to solicit Ukraine's interference in the 2020 election. Bolton announced earlier this month that he would be willing to testify if subpoenaed in Trump's Senate trial. He is a key figure in several episodes under scrutiny in the impeachment inquiry, and The Times' reporting indicates he could have significant new information about Trump's pressure campaign. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Former national security adviser John Bolton claims in his new book that President Donald Trump directly told him that he would withhold military aid to Ukraine until Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to deliver politically motivated investigations that Trump demanded targeting his rivals, according to an unpublished manuscript of Bolton's book obtained by The New York Times. Bolton's book said Trump asked the Office of Management and Budget to continue a nearly month-long hold on $391 million in military aid to Ukraine. The president is currently facing a Senate trial after he was impeached last month for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Both charges are related to his efforts to strongarm Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and a discredited conspiracy theory about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. The Times' reporting underscores how dangerous Bolton could be if he testifies against Trump in his trial. The former national security adviser announced earlier this month that he would be willing to do so if subpoenaed, but Senate Republicans have so far resisted Democratic calls to have new witnesses testify. It's also been reported that Senate Republicans are drawing up contingency plans to have Bolton testify behind closed doors if the chamber does subpoena him. In order for Bolton to testify, a simple majority — 51 senators — would need to vote to call new witnesses. The Senate currently has 45 Democrats, 2 independents who caucus with the Democrats, and 53 Republicans, meaning four Republican senators would have to break from their party. Trump, meanwhile, said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that Bolton testifying could be a "national security problem." "He knows some of my thoughts," Trump said on January 23. "He knows what I think about leaders. What happens if he reveals how I feel about another leader and it's not positive ... it would make the job a lot harder." The Times reported that Bolton has given the draft of his book to some friends, and to the White House as a part of a standard review process for former officials. After The Times published its story on the manuscript, Bolton's lawyer released a statement saying they did not believe any part of the manuscript was classified, and charging that its leak to The Times meant that "the prepublication review process has been corrupted." Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1221605438627684358?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw BREAKING: Statement from Bolton's lawyer Chuck Cooper. Story TK. pic.twitter.com/u3JOV7l5dD While the votes to call witnesses are not guaranteed, the explosive revelations in Bolton's book seem to be changing the calculus. In the wake of The Times' story, a senior Republican official told the Washington Post that "the odds of deposition for new witnesses is certainly rising dramatically." On Sunday night, the seven House managers released a statement saying, "There can be no doubt now that Mr. Bolton directly contradicts the heart of the President's defense and therefore must be called as a witness at the impeachment trial of President Trump." If he testifies, Bolton could be the president's worst nightmare. As the former national security adviser, Bolton would be the highest-profile witness to testify against Trump and one who held frequent meetings with him. Bolton attended a July 10 White House policy meeting between senior US and Ukrainian officials. Gordon Sondland, the US's ambassador to the European Union, hijacked the meeting when he told the Ukrainians that Trump wanted a "deliverable" — specifically, politically motivated investigations — in exchange for a White House meeting. Bolton cut the meeting short at that point and informed Fiona Hill, who at the time was the National Security Council's senior director in charge of Russian and Eurasian affairs, to "tell the lawyers" what had happened. Hill said in her testimony that Bolton ordered her to tell John Eisenberg, the NSC's chief counsel, that he was not part of "whatever drug deal" Sondland and Mulvaney were "cooking up" in Ukraine. Bolton was staunchly opposed to Trump making the infamous July 25 phone call to Zelensky. Hill and other witnesses testified that Bolton was against the phone call because he feared the president would use it to air his personal grievances to Zelensky, which is exactly what ended up happening. The former national security adviser described Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer who spearheaded what witnesses have said was the "irregular channel" of foreign policy in Ukraine, as a "hand grenade." Bolton was also opposed to the smear campaign Giuliani and Trump carried out against Marie Yovanovitch, the US's ambassador to Ukraine. Asked why Bolton described Giuliani as a "hand grenade," Hill told Congress that the former New York mayor was "clearly pushing forward" issues that would "probably come back to haunt us," adding, "That's where we are today." Bolton's lawyer, Chuck Cooper, dropped a tantalizing hint in a letter to Congress indicating that Bolton knows even more than what's already been revealed. Bolton "was personally involved in many of the events, meetings, and conversations about which you have already received testimony, as well as many relevant meetings and conversations that have not yet been discussed in the testimonies thus far," Cooper wrote. Bolton has receipts. Current and former senior administration officials told the news website Axios in November that people in Trump's orbit were terrified of what Bolton may have documented and what he might divulge. According to Axios' sources, Bolton is a prolific note-taker and likely has more details than any witness in the impeachment inquiry so far about Trump's shadow campaign in Ukraine. "Bolton was a voracious note-taker, in every meeting," one source who attended several meetings with the former national security adviser told Axios. Apparently, Axios reported, while others sat and listened in meetings with the president, Bolton "distinguished himself by filling legal pads with contemporaneous notes on what was said in the room." Read more: Trump says he doesn't want John Bolton to testify in his impeachment trial because 'he knows some of my thoughts' Trump's impeachment team is so worried that John Bolton could sink his defense that it has drawn up plans to make him testify behind closed doors Democrats are having a field day after Trump's lawyers accidentally made the strongest case to call witnesses in his impeachment trial Giuliani associate says John Bolton is a key impeachment witness, bolstering Democrats' calls for him to testify in Senate trialJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A law professor weighs in on how Trump could beat impeachment