The Washington Examiner‘s Byron York has long been sympathetic to President Donald Trump. He has repeatedly defended the president’s conduct in Ukraine and attacked the Democratic case. Just a week ago, he penned a column criticizing the idea that Trump has been less cooperative in the impeachment trial than President Bill Clinton. And in particular, he has opposed Democratic demands for former National Security Adviser John Bolton to be called to testify against the president, saying, “if anything is covered by executive privilege, it would be the president’s private conversations with his national security adviser about issues of foreign policy and national security.”
But now, with The New York Times reporting that Bolton has alleged in his book that the president told him he was imposing a quid pro quo on Ukraine for military aid, York has changed his tune — and tweeted on Monday that the public must see Bolton’s testimony:
Much talk about WH claims of privilege if Bolton testifies. But Bolton has already changed the game. He has put down his account on paper. That written account has circulated. Cat is out of the bag. Public needs to see it now.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) January 27, 2020
Bolton’s allegation creates a number of new problems for the president and his defenders in Congress. In addition to weakening claims to executive privilege, it also blew up Senate Republicans’ talking point that none of the witnesses Democrats are demanding had actual knowledge of the Ukraine scheme’s motivation.
Though York has changed his mind, it remains to be seen what Senate Republicans will do.