Bolton Blows Off House Dems’ Request to Testify

Only two of the 13 ‘witnesses’ Democrats scheduled to testify this week have shown up…

Bolton: Democrats’ ‘Level of Hypocrisy’ on Russia ‘Hard to Match’

John Bolton/Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC)

(Liberty Headlines) Former national security adviser John Bolton declined to appear for an interview with impeachment investigators Thursday.

An attorney for Bolton, Charles Cooper, said his client had not received a subpoena and wouldn’t appear without one.

The move was to be expected after Cooper said last week that Bolton did not plan on heeding the unofficial summons—much to the chagrin of partisan Democrats who had hoped a falling out earlier this year between the hawkish conservative and the pacifist president might compel Bolton to settle scores.

Many of the career civil servants who have provided testimony to the House about President Donald Trump’s handling of Ukraine have been either Obama holdovers with overt partisan leanings or Trump appointees who felt betrayed in some way by Trump’s unconventional leadership approach.

But the no-show made it unlikely that Bolton would join the ranks of defectors. Democrats indicated they have no interest in a drawn-out court fight over Bolton’s testimony or that of any others as they move into a more public phase of their impeachment inquiry.

Instead, they say they will simply use it as evidence of the president’s obstruction of Congress when drafting articles of impeachment.

Democrats scheduled 13 witnesses to testify behind closed doors this week as they have wrapped up the private phase of the probe, but so far only Williams and another State Department employee, David Hale, have shown up. Trump has directed his employees not to cooperate with the investigation.

In addition to Bolton, Democrats had requested interviews from two other high-level Trump administration witnesses: acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Perry did not show up for his Wednesday interview and Mulvaney was not expected to appear for his scheduled deposition on Friday.

Still, Democrats claim they already have ample testimony about Trump’s conduct on Ukraine to serve their impeachment needs.

“I think there’s more evidence to the effect that the president shook down Ukraine, tried to cover it up, and threatened to and then withheld security assistance to Ukraine than there is evidence that the sun will come up in the East tomorrow,” said Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., a member of the House Intelligence panel

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press