President Donald Trump’s lawyers made no mention of John Bolton in their opening statement — but his testimony could blow up their impeachment defense.
Bolton submitted the manuscript for his new book to the White House last month for review, which likely means that at least some of the president’s legal team were aware of the former national security adviser’s claims, wrote attorney George Conway for the Washington Post.
Conway, whose wife Kellaynne Conway serves as a senior White House adviser, said Bolton’s claims prove quid pro quo regarding Ukraine aid and an investigation of Joe Biden, and he said the evidence was strong enough to convince even Republican senators.
“No wonder Trump’s lawyers so vehemently opposed Bolton’s being subpoenaed last week,” Conway wrote. “No wonder they’ve been plotting with Senate Republicans to make sure that, if Bolton does testify, he does so in secret. No wonder Trump himself expressed concern last week about the possibility of Bolton testifying. No wonder why, on Saturday, none of the president’s lawyers dared even utter the word ‘Bolton.'”
Trump and his attorneys understand Bolton’s testimony would destroy their defense, which rests on the argument that no witnesses have testified the president explicitly tied the investigations and security assistance.
But Bolton does.
“If Bolton testifies to what’s in his manuscript, these arguments, weak as they are, will collapse,” Conway wrote. “The words will come from Trump’s mouth, because Bolton will have put them there. The direct witness whose absence Trump’s lawyers trumpeted will have appeared.”
“It would now be preposterous, if it ever wasn’t,” he added, “for the Senate not to call Bolton as a witness. To refuse to do so would ensure that the trial would be recorded forever in history as a GOP-orchestrated farce. And if the president’s defense is that Bolton is now peddling this tale of quid pro quo ‘only to sell a book,’ fine. Let’s also have a look at the documents that could demonstrate who is telling the truth.”