Former national security adviser John Bolton revealed in his manuscript that President Donald Trump told him as early as August 2019 that he wanted to continue freezing the military and security assistance to Ukraine until they could get officials to go after the Biden family.
New York Times reporters Maggie Haberman Michael Schmidt reported Sunday that the $391 million in aid to Ukraine was contingent on Ukraine officials agreeing to help “with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens.”
“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,” the report said.
Republicans have thus far refused to allow witnesses, including Bolton to speak, in the impeachment trial.
The report said that Bolton’s manuscript was sent to the White House to undergo a review process typical of past White House officials. Bolton took several dozens of pages to outline how the Ukraine incident unfolded. He also recalled the president’s hatred of Ukraine, detailing the ways in which Trump would trash the country in front of staff. He also revealed, “senior cabinet officials who have publicly tried to sidestep involvement.”