Senate GOP In No Hurry To Hear From Bolton For Impeachment Trial | Talking Points Memo

Republican senators held back on Monday from saying whether they would be willing to subpoena former National Security Adviser John Bolton, instead alternately advocating for making that decision after the upcoming impeachment trial’s opening phases or accusing House Democrats of presenting an incomplete case against President Trump.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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Ah geez, now we gotta watch these fuckers do the dance.

How long do we have to watch a bunch of old white farts play this stupid game?

Can’t they ever do the right thing? Don’t answer that.


Does anyone really expect anything useful to result from Bolton’s testimony?
I don’t.


So far the senate Rs are saying it’s the fault of Democrats that Bolton is being pressed to appear before the senate, but we know they mean it’s Obama’s fault. Useless bunch of puppets in service to “a bully with delusions of grandeur who isn’t as tough as he thinks.”


Your being quoted Josh .


"Josh Marshall :heavy_check_mark: @joshtpm

Curious what others say. But Bolton’s comment strikes me as meaningless. If he’s subpoenaed in the Senate trial, of course he has to testify. I don’t believe such a subpoena would even be reviewable by a court."


So far the senate Rs are saying it’s the fault of Democrats that Bolton is being pressed to appear before the senate…

Of course it is. The repugs aren’t interested in the truth, not that I’d rely on Bolton for the truth.


Possibly. I have no doubt he resents Trump for giving him the gate. I also imagine (meaning want to believe) he’s alarmed at our developing foreign policy clusterfuck. I’m not saying he’s going to set the sky on fire, I’ve no doubt he will not do that, but I think Bolton sees Trump for the idiot he is, and the hopelessness of this Administration on any and all practical levels, and Bolton will want to divorce himself from that idiocy.

It may just be a tell that Bolton did not conform to giving the White House a courtesy call on this beforehand. The lack of respect is glaringly evident right there.


Can House Dems just call Bolton now?


They get excited and worked up when they have a chance banging on each other’s balls!

I still tend to see Bolton more as a rightwing political operative than whatever actual positions in government he’s held over the years. I don’t believe Bolton is showing a willingness to do this without some inside baseball stuff already worked out to some degree with McConnell and other GOP Senators, who are still trying to formulate how the Senate will proceed without having to consider anything the House may want to see happen as a matter of course. If anything, Bolton probably has some rightwing interlocutors already communicating to those Senate Republicans that just want this whole thing go away. Bolton is a party apparatchik more than anything. His ideology and mantra of regime change in Iran has been the animating force behind a lot of his hubris, so tRump and he are on the same page with what just happened. This thing over Ukraine can probably all be forgiven by him now that he’s getting closer to what he’s wanted to happen with Iran, thanks to tRump’s ill-advised actions.


Then the HOUSE should subpoena him.


Can’t wait until this country is no longer run by old white males.


As I said earlier, at this point he still should be subpoenaed by the House for a deposition. Let’s see where the bear shits in the buckwheat. Let’s see if his partisan freak flag flies when that’s suggested. The articles of impeachment haven’t been sent to the Senate yet and the inquiry as they say, is still ongoing. That means Adam Schiff or Jerry Nadler should demand Bolton to come forward for testimony under oath and behind closed doors first, so that his testimony can be included that in the documents to be passed on to the Senate.


Actually, its looking more like a children’s pissing match.


Much better analogy.

I’ll probably be dead before that change actually happens.


The ironic part is, no one knows what he’ll say… he’s liable to step up and lie his crazy ass off while blowing apart the House’s case.


Bolton won’t lie. He has a score to settle with Pompeo and Mnuchin who were down right giddy once he was fired. And the only thing Trump will remember about Bolton is his moustache.


A few views on this.

View 1: Josh is essentially right and Bolton’s statement is empty words which McConnell will ignore. My problem with this is that Bolton just thrust impeachment back to center stage, and Trump has been braying like a crazy donkey trying to change the subject. I don’t know how this statement helps Trump. It certainly puts pressure on McConnell as Bolton is one of the key witnesses that the public wants to hear from. He now has to spend more political capital to stop that from happening.

View 2: Bolton wants to testify and thread a needle to be able to help Trump or provide mitigating circumstances to allow for acquittal and closure of the impeachment chapter without perjuring himself. Some Senate GOPers are talking in these terms. Personally, I don’t think that’s possible. Any truthful testimony from Bolton which confirms what Hill, Vindman and Sondland said will be devastating for Trump. Any attempts to use executive privilege will not add value for Trump. Bolton also doesn’t strike me as the type to lie under oath for Trump.

View 3: Bolton sees an opportunity to launch a wider war for regime change vs Iran and wants to seize this moment. The bureaucracy is now stripped to the bone and foreign policy is basically being run by neocons and bible thumpers (lots of overlap in that Venn diagram). Pence and Pompeo are the most prominent here, but I have little doubt that on this issue Bolton is right there with them. If you are a neocon, a true Cheney acolyte, do you trust Trump to deliver on a full war? Yes, you got him to strike at Soleimani (btw, that option was placed on the list intentionally and the neocons steered Trump to it as a way to deal with impeachment), but in reality Trump isn’t a true believer in neoconism and needs to constantly be conned into supporting such moves. There’s also the matter of Putin, who clearly opposes regime change in Iran. Putin has Trump’s ear and will push him away from a larger war (I think that letter announcing withdrawal from Iraq was dictated by Trump after consulting with Trump’s friends in the Kremlin). So if you are a neocon, you have full control of the military, state department and nat sec apparatus but you have less than a year to launch a war as Trump might lose re-election or get cold feet, do you really trust Trump here in this moment? If you’re Mike Pence, and you wanted to make a move, isn’t this the thing worth making the move for? We don’t know much about Pence as VP other than his sycophantic support of Trump. He’s basically vapor, aware of a lot of stuff, a fly on the wall, but does very little. The one thing we know about Pence is that he’s a true believing bible thumper who fully supported the neocon cause, and those types believe in war with Iran. If you’re Pence, would you push Trump out of the way, force his resignation, take power and launch a wider war with Iran? You just might. Stay tuned.


Oh, I’m sure he will somehow get in a dig or two at Trump. Most likely in his book. I can’t see Bolton helping Democrats though.