What's Bolton up to with that new move to play Schiff's game?

Hard to say what fired and now former national security adviser John Bolton is up to these days now that the Senate impeachment trial is on.

The latest news is here on the front page of the New York Times, reporting an anonymous "leak":

WASHINGTON — President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.

The president's statement as described by Mr. Bolton could undercut a key element of his impeachment defense: that the holdup in aid was separate from Mr. Trump's requests that Ukraine announce investigations into his perceived enemies, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, who had worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was in office.

Mr. Bolton's explosive account of the matter at the center of Mr. Trump's impeachment trial, the third in American history, was included in drafts of a manuscript he has circulated in recent weeks to close associates. 

Bolton says the leak didn't come from him, but the Deep Staters reviewing his book for disclosure of secrets.  One of them.

Back in the White House, the Trumpsters are calling bee ess, while Trump himself has tweeted it "NEVER" happened.  The White House has noted the curious timing of the leaks, which coincide with the opening of his advance book sales on Amazon.

Others have noticed a timing issue, too:

I'm not inclined to be negative about Bolton, neocon as he is, because President Trump is not the easiest guy to work for, and getting fired by him is no disgrace, but this has a rather bad look.

Bolton earlier had said he didn't want to play Adam Schiff's game to Get Trump and told the latter he'd testify as a witness for him only with a subpoena.

Now he's practically asking to testify, just as he's got a book out with the very claims Democrats wanted to hear.  What changed?  He's still opting to play Adam Schiff's game with this. 

Book timing?  Publication schedule?  You decide.

And is his claim true? There might be some base element to it, subject to distortion, given that Fiona Hill testified that this was what Bolton said earlier.

At the time, her claims came off as opportunistic, given that they didn't require her to claim anything firsthand and allowed her to pin all her claims on Bolton.  I wrote this at the time:

But I get a funny feeling when I read all the leaks that have come out about her supposedly secret Schiff committee testimony which focuses primarily on all the things NSC chief John Bolton told her. If true, these things are embarrassing to him, which means a political cost to him, not to her.

How'd she get in with Trump? And what about those apparent ties with Biden, which might call into question her motives for all her negative testimony on Trump? Was her real reason for saying negative things and embarrassing other Republicans a desire to get a fancy job with a future President Biden?

It makes me wonder if Biden offered Bolton a fancy job in a future Biden administration, too.

Even if some of what's claimed is true, it's hardly an impeachable issue, given that America's fate doesn't rest on aid to Ukraine, which is only going to steal it.  Yet the Bolton claim is still suspicious.  Why didn't Bolton say anything about this at the time of his firing?  And why was he talking to an ex-employee about classified phone calls with foreign leaders, which is what Hill was at the time of the famous phone call to the president of Ukraine and Bolton's talk with her about it later?

Supposedly, his acrimonious exit from the Trump administration was due to his history of leaking to the press and the Trumpsters finding out about it.  Combine that allegation with the unauthorized Fiona chat, and the whole thing might point to Bolton as the leaker in this book sale case, too.

It would make sense from a motivational point of view, too.  Trump, fairly or not, fired him on negative terms.  But the self-interest in wanting to promote book sales through perfect timing of Amazon opening orders is an old swamp power game of selling books, using the New York Times as a marketing agent.  James Comey did that earlier.

One wants to think better of Bolton than this, but if things are as they appear, maybe it's time to put him in the #NeverTrump dustbin along with Bill Kristol and Max Boot. The money-grubbing aspect of the whole thing is ample reason all by itself is reason enough not to call witnesses as Adam Schiff slavers, because there's some funny stuff going on right now. Schiff had his chance to call Bolton and he blew it. Let Schiff stew about that.

Image credit: Instagram screen shot.

Hard to say what fired and now former national security adviser John Bolton is up to these days now that the Senate impeachment trial is on.

The latest news is here on the front page of the New York Times, reporting an anonymous "leak":

WASHINGTON — President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.

The president's statement as described by Mr. Bolton could undercut a key element of his impeachment defense: that the holdup in aid was separate from Mr. Trump's requests that Ukraine announce investigations into his perceived enemies, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, who had worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was in office.

Mr. Bolton's explosive account of the matter at the center of Mr. Trump's impeachment trial, the third in American history, was included in drafts of a manuscript he has circulated in recent weeks to close associates. 

Bolton says the leak didn't come from him, but the Deep Staters reviewing his book for disclosure of secrets.  One of them.

Back in the White House, the Trumpsters are calling bee ess, while Trump himself has tweeted it "NEVER" happened.  The White House has noted the curious timing of the leaks, which coincide with the opening of his advance book sales on Amazon.

Others have noticed a timing issue, too:

I'm not inclined to be negative about Bolton, neocon as he is, because President Trump is not the easiest guy to work for, and getting fired by him is no disgrace, but this has a rather bad look.

Bolton earlier had said he didn't want to play Adam Schiff's game to Get Trump and told the latter he'd testify as a witness for him only with a subpoena.

Now he's practically asking to testify, just as he's got a book out with the very claims Democrats wanted to hear.  What changed?  He's still opting to play Adam Schiff's game with this. 

Book timing?  Publication schedule?  You decide.

And is his claim true? There might be some base element to it, subject to distortion, given that Fiona Hill testified that this was what Bolton said earlier.

At the time, her claims came off as opportunistic, given that they didn't require her to claim anything firsthand and allowed her to pin all her claims on Bolton.  I wrote this at the time:

But I get a funny feeling when I read all the leaks that have come out about her supposedly secret Schiff committee testimony which focuses primarily on all the things NSC chief John Bolton told her. If true, these things are embarrassing to him, which means a political cost to him, not to her.

How'd she get in with Trump? And what about those apparent ties with Biden, which might call into question her motives for all her negative testimony on Trump? Was her real reason for saying negative things and embarrassing other Republicans a desire to get a fancy job with a future President Biden?

It makes me wonder if Biden offered Bolton a fancy job in a future Biden administration, too.

Even if some of what's claimed is true, it's hardly an impeachable issue, given that America's fate doesn't rest on aid to Ukraine, which is only going to steal it.  Yet the Bolton claim is still suspicious.  Why didn't Bolton say anything about this at the time of his firing?  And why was he talking to an ex-employee about classified phone calls with foreign leaders, which is what Hill was at the time of the famous phone call to the president of Ukraine and Bolton's talk with her about it later?

Supposedly, his acrimonious exit from the Trump administration was due to his history of leaking to the press and the Trumpsters finding out about it.  Combine that allegation with the unauthorized Fiona chat, and the whole thing might point to Bolton as the leaker in this book sale case, too.

It would make sense from a motivational point of view, too.  Trump, fairly or not, fired him on negative terms.  But the self-interest in wanting to promote book sales through perfect timing of Amazon opening orders is an old swamp power game of selling books, using the New York Times as a marketing agent.  James Comey did that earlier.

One wants to think better of Bolton than this, but if things are as they appear, maybe it's time to put him in the #NeverTrump dustbin along with Bill Kristol and Max Boot. The money-grubbing aspect of the whole thing is ample reason all by itself is reason enough not to call witnesses as Adam Schiff slavers, because there's some funny stuff going on right now. Schiff had his chance to call Bolton and he blew it. Let Schiff stew about that.

Image credit: Instagram screen shot.