On Thursday, writing for The New York Times, author and columnist John Gans tore into former National Security Adviser John Bolton for attempting to play the hero for belatedly going public with allegations against President Donald Trump, calling him the “model of a Trump sellout” and a “creature of the administration.”
“I spent the last few years researching and writing a book about the National Security Council, and I have had a lot of time to think about what makes John Bolton tick,” wrote Gans. “Like many others, I wondered whether he’d testify in the impeachment hearing into Mr. Trump’s misconduct with Ukraine; whether his book would ever come out; why he was seen randomly walking around Doha, Qatar; and what each of his cryptic tweets (and retweets) meant.”
Bolton ultimately did not testify, only to say in his book that Democrats should have investigated the very things he witnessed — something that is earning him widespread criticism.
“There were a few factors that surely contributed to his taciturnity,” wrote Gans. “There was and remains a clear risk of legal jeopardy, including potential criminal and financial penalties for revealing classified information. He also had a book to promote and paid speeches that pay more for exclusivity. And he dreams of being the future of Mr. Trump’s Republican Party, not a darling of either the resistance or the Democratic Party.”
“Mr. Bolton was willing to feed information to the Democrats, but not side with them,” wrote Gans. “He was willing to leak to reporters but not speak publicly. He was open to impeaching Mr. Trump, but not on the crimes and misdemeanors as written. He was willing to testify, but only under a subpoena from the Senate. In short, Mr. Bolton wanted to have his say and do it his way. With the book coming out, he has — thanks, in part, to an all-too-willing public. But because it’s only a story about Mr. Bolton versus Mr. Trump, few will ever rally to his side.”
“During his testimony, [Lt. Col. Alexander] Vindman appealed to and embodied the principles that we all at least claim to hold dear,” concluded Gans. “The contrast with Mr. Bolton, and his book, could not be more stark. After all, what do you call a hero without any followers? Just a guy having lunch all alone.”
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