Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. John Bolton and the Leaked Manuscript

 

Just when we could see the impeachment trial winding down as the President’s defense team squashed the House Managers, we learn that the John Bolton manuscript of his new book has been leaked. What a shock. The manuscript has not been quoted and the references to it have been vague. (The NY Times article is behind a paywall.)

The manuscript was sent to the National Security Council’s Records Management Division for a “standard prepublication security review” on December 30, in the belief that no classified information was included. Over the weekend, the information was conveniently leaked to the New York Times. Yet there was this report:

Sarah Tinsley, an adviser to Bolton, told Axios that the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations sent the draft manuscript only to the White House for a prepublication review by the National Security Council. ‘The ambassador has not passed the draft manuscript to anyone else. Period,’ she said.

Given her report, it’s difficult to pinpoint who might have leaked it. Here’s a report from the Conservative Treehouse:

Remember the issue a little more than a week ago when the National Security Council senior director for European and Russian affairs, Andrew Peek, was escorted from the White House grounds and is said to be under a security-related investigation?

On Friday January 17th, 2020, the National Security Council senior director for European and Russian affairs, Andrew Peek, was escorted from the White House grounds and is currently under a security investigation.

Is that evidence of anything? No.

Others have been suggested as suspects for leaking the manuscript, but no one has any evidence. So here’s what I want to point out, and get your input:

  • I don’t think John Bolton was behind the leak, but he’s also not surprised. What do you think?
  • I think Bolton should offer an interview to a news outlet where he can set the record straight. He doesn’t have to provide quotes from his book, but he can either validate or invalidate the implication that Trump told him that he wanted to hold funds from Ukraine unless they investigated as he’d supposedly requested. He should agree to an interview by midweek.
  • I’m trying to figure out why Bolton has offered to testify if subpoenaed:
  • He wants revenge against Trump for firing him and will tell everything that he thinks he can share.
  • He wants publicity for his book.
  • He wants to humiliate the Democrats by refusing to testify due to Executive Privilege. (I hope this is the reason.)
  • Do you think they’ll agree to call witnesses to examine Bolton, or will the specter of a Biden debacle stop the Democrats?

I just want the Senate Impeachment trial to be over. What do you hope, or believe, John Bolton will do now?

There are 107 comments.

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  1. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    I don’t know what game is being played here, but if this is another whiny “The president didn’t conduct foreign policy my way!” complaint, like Vindman and that other woman were complaining about, then Bolton is just as bad as the rest of them. Listen, Mr. Mustache: you served at the President’s pleasure, not the other way around. And the President has the final say when it comes to foreign policy — not you. Not Vindman. Not that angry woman who insulted the President’s son.

    This is all so stupid. There is nothing impeachable here. This is just Democrats annoyed that the Mueller investigation didn’t result in the President’s arrest. So the moment that didn’t work, they came up with another coup idea.

    The only reason this has any traction at all is because our lying media is filling the airwaves with this hot gas.

    • #1
    • January 27, 2020, at 4:53 PM PST
    • 18 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    I don’t know what game is being played here, but if this is another whiny “The president didn’t conduct foreign policy my way!” complaint, like Vindman and that other woman were complaining about, then Bolton is just as bad as the rest of them. Listen, Mr. Mustache: you served at the President’s pleasure, not the other way around. And the President has the final say when it comes to foreign policy — not you. Not Vindman. Not that angry woman who insulted the President’s son.

    This is all so stupid. There is nothing impeachable here. This is just Democrats annoyed that the Mueller investigation didn’t result in the President’s arrest. So the moment that didn’t work, they came up with another coup idea.

    The only reason this has any traction at all is because our lying media is filling the airwaves with this hot gas.

    That doesn’t make sense to me–whiny John Bolton doesn’t fit my image of him. The man (I believe is a patriot) understands politics: you win some, you lose some. Something else is going on.

    • #2
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:04 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  3. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    At most, the alleged leak claims that President Trump actually wanted to see evidence of a real investigation into Ukrainian corruption, which everyone acknowledged, and not just lip service. He knew that the new Ukrainian president, who ran on an anti-corruption platform, had funding from an oligarch, and that virtually everyone with lots of money in Ukraine came by some portion of it dishonestly. So, the current president of Ukraine needs some serious muscle behind him to counter the overwhelming internal pressure to fake an investigation and only touch a few convenient sacrificial goats.

    And. We know President Trump has always made a priority of squeezing other countries, those in the neighborhood, to pony up. So, we know he was delaying release of aid while pounding the table with European powers, hoping to shake a few Euros out before putting American taxpayer dollars in. 

    At the same time, he was properly concerned about show versus substance on Ukrainian corruption and foreign influence in that corruption. Sounds shocking, but a president of the United States might actually be working to clean up U.S. and foreign corruption! The real outrage is over this. The real sound we hear is the squeal of pigs finding their path to their feed trough blocked.

    • #3
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:12 PM PST
    • 22 likes
  4. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    I don’t know what game is being played here, but if this is another whiny “The president didn’t conduct foreign policy my way!” complaint, like Vindman and that other woman were complaining about, then Bolton is just as bad as the rest of them. Listen, Mr. Mustache: you served at the President’s pleasure, not the other way around. And the President has the final say when it comes to foreign policy — not you. Not Vindman. Not that angry woman who insulted the President’s son.

    This is all so stupid. There is nothing impeachable here. This is just Democrats annoyed that the Mueller investigation didn’t result in the President’s arrest. So the moment that didn’t work, they came up with another coup idea.

    The only reason this has any traction at all is because our lying media is filling the airwaves with this hot gas.

    That doesn’t make sense to me–whiny John Bolton doesn’t fit my image of him. The man (I believe is a patriot) understands politics: you win some, you lose some. Something else is going on.

    No, mine either. But I have also watched people who I used to respect lose their minds in an attempt to bring down President Trump, who they hate.

    Here’s a reminder that George W. Bush wasn’t a fan.

    Here also is Bolton’s former Chief of Staff calling on Bolton to withdraw his book from publication. Concluding with this comparison:

    Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who stepped down in June 2011, published a devastating book titled “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War” that detailed the incompetence of Vice President Joe Biden and the Obama National Security Council staff. But because he did not want his internal knowledge of the workings of the Obama administration and his interactions with President Obama to affect the outcome of the 2012 presidential election, Gates did not publish his book until January 2014.

    Gates established a principled precedent on how senior advisers to presidents should write about their experiences. Given Ambassador Bolton’s long and distinguished record of government service, I believe it is vital that he follow this precedent.

    • #4
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:13 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  5. Weeping Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    I don’t know what game is being played here, but if this is another whiny “The president didn’t conduct foreign policy my way!” complaint, like Vindman and that other woman were complaining about, then Bolton is just as bad as the rest of them. Listen, Mr. Mustache: you served at the President’s pleasure, not the other way around. And the President has the final say when it comes to foreign policy — not you. Not Vindman. Not that angry woman who insulted the President’s son.

    This is all so stupid. There is nothing impeachable here. This is just Democrats annoyed that the Mueller investigation didn’t result in the President’s arrest. So the moment that didn’t work, they came up with another coup idea.

    The only reason this has any traction at all is because our lying media is filling the airwaves with this hot gas.

    That doesn’t make sense to me–whiny John Bolton doesn’t fit my image of him. The man (I believe is a patriot) understands politics: you win some, you lose some. Something else is going on.

    What I’d love for it to be is Bolton testifies and blows the Democrats’ “case” to pieces. Hey, I just told you I’d testify if I was subpoenaed. I didn’t tell you what I’d say.

    • #5
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:13 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  6. Rodin Member

    When the actual text becomes available along with context in which the non-quoted item is being highlighted, no doubt it will be much less than what the Democrats hope it is. How many trailers have we seen that oversell the excitement of the movie? My guess is that this will be the same.

    But even if true, I continue to argue that the Senate should assume the truth of what they think all the witnesses might say and vote to dismiss the Articles or, alternatively proceed to the final vote. Counselor Philbin in his presentation today alerted the Senate that if they decide to call witnesses the President may lawfully assert privileges and litigate those privileges as a matter of obligation to the Office of the Presidency. So the Senators really have to ask themselves (at least the Republican majority) how long do they really want this to go on? If witnesses are to be heard we will see a rank order change in the notion that this will be a rapid process. In fact the President would be better served to create the expectation that for the public, the “ongoing proceedings” of the Senate will be background noise for many months to come. I think President Trump is uniquely positioned to exploit this scenario.

    Biden is done. If you have any question about that just find the Pat Bondi presentation from today on the internet. 

     

    • #6
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:14 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  7. Steve C. Member

    Bolton is a convenient club to beat the President.

    I don’t doubt he has his own opinions about Trump’s policies. But I doubt he would violate executive privilege. This is much ado about nothing.

    • #7
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:14 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  8. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Biden is done. If you have any question about that just find the Pat Bondi presentation from today on the internet. 

    Embedded in this Tweet:

    • #8
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:18 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  9. Hugh Member

    Kavanaugh playbook

    • #9
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:24 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  10. Kevin Schulte Member

    Is Bolton under contract from his publisher not to discuss the book ?

    Is the leak a lie ? or grossly exaggerated ?

    Did the publisher let this out for book hyping ?

    Did the Times make this up knowing Bolton can’t comment ?

    We shall know soon enough if his mustache loves the country more than his ego loves himself. 

     

    • #10
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:27 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. Chris O. Coolidge
    Chris O.Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    That doesn’t make sense to me–whiny John Bolton doesn’t fit my image of him. The man (I believe is a patriot) understands politics: you win some, you lose some. Something else is going on.

    I agree to a point. We have seen John Bolton lash out before, just usually at targets we thought needed it. Does he have something? Ultimately no: the aid was there ahead of schedule and no investigation was announced.

    John Bolton always seemed a man with a mission: to check the UN and inject his realpolitik into that bloated body of blowhards. He thought he’d be allowed to carry it out. It didn’t work out. Is he able to restrain his ego from lashing out once again? Has he set his sights on President Trump? And, finally, because nothing seemed to come of it whatever the talk was, could his testimony really do anything?

    • #11
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:33 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  12. The Reticulator Member

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Biden is done. If you have any question about that just find the Pat Bondi presentation from today on the internet.

    Embedded in this Tweet:

    Potential appearance of a conflict of interest? Nonsense. There was a conflict of interest, as well as an appearance of conflict of interest. In other words, the conflict of interest wasn’t hidden. There was a potential for corrupt dealing, and there was a potential for the conflict to be handled honorably, but there can be no question that there was a conflict of interest, unless the term doesn’t mean anything at all.

    • #12
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:36 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  13. GeezerBob Coolidge

    Hard to tell who is playing what game -or is it games? Even with this, assuming the text is as it has been described, there is a piece missing. If Trump withheld funds to Ukraine and said so then for this to be the smoking gun, he has to have said “…because I want to get dirt on Biden for the upcoming campaign.” I am still waiting…

    • #13
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:36 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  14. The Reticulator Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Biden is done. If you have any question about that just find the Pat Bondi presentation from today on the internet.

    Embedded in this Tweet:

    Potential appearance of a conflict of interest? Nonsense. There was a conflict of interest, as well as an appearance of conflict of interest. In other words, the conflict of interest wasn’t hidden. There was a potential for corrupt dealing, and there was a potential for the conflict to be handled honorably, but there can be no question that there was a conflict of interest, unless the term doesn’t mean anything at all.

    I didn’t watch this Pam Bondi person all the way through, but her presentation was painful to watch in comparison with the pacing and directness of that French investigative video. She covered some points (e.g. about China) that that video didn’t cover, but her pacing was terrible. And this was in addition to that weasel-worded talk about a “potential appearance of a conflict of interest.” Maybe that terminology didn’t originate with her, but she didn’t need to lend it gravitas. And it was a very leaden gravitas.

    • #14
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:44 PM PST
    • Like
  15. Rodin Member

    Professor Alan Dershowitz just addressed the Bolton report directly in his presentation to the Senate. He stated that even if true, even if there was a quid pro quo (a matter in dispute), it was not an impeachable offense. In matters of foreign affairs there is nearly always a condition stated or implied with respect to what America will do for a foreign country. His other points involved the absurdity of mind-reading about the President’s intention (like all humans a president will find a non-self serving justification for their actions) and that “abuse of power” is a political charge (which parties do and should charge against their opponents) and not criminal.

    • #15
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:45 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  16. Kozak Member
    KozakJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    I don’t know what game is being played here, but if this is another whiny “The president didn’t conduct foreign policy my way!” complaint, like Vindman and that other woman were complaining about, then Bolton is just as bad as the rest of them. Listen, Mr. Mustache: you served at the President’s pleasure, not the other way around. And the President has the final say when it comes to foreign policy — not you. Not Vindman. Not that angry woman who insulted the President’s son.

    This is all so stupid. There is nothing impeachable here. This is just Democrats annoyed that the Mueller investigation didn’t result in the President’s arrest. So the moment that didn’t work, they came up with another coup idea.

    The only reason this has any traction at all is because our lying media is filling the airwaves with this hot gas.

    The game is obvious. They were getting waxed and even the squish Senators were looking like they were going to toss the case without any witnesses. Now the waters muddied again and the usual suspects (Mittens , Snow, Murkowski ) are making noises about wanting witnesses.

     

    OK. If thats what they want, McConnell should suspend the trial until this manuscript is released. If it takes till March, TS. IN the meantime the GOP should make it clear that if we are going to have witnesses, we are going to have all the witnesses. The Bidens, Schiff, Chalupa, Ciamerella, Vindman, and any one else that needs to dragged in under oath to get all the facts.

    • #16
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:47 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It seems to me that Bolton has been abused by a dishonorable bureaucrat via a mandatory process. No swamp creature was ever as blunt as he tends to be. 

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Is Bolton under contract from his publisher not to discuss the book ?

    Good question. As often as he has granted interviews, and being of a bold nature, I doubt he would remain silent if he didn’t have to. In any case, a dozen people probably jumped to advise him within an hour of the leak. He will choose his next step carefully.

    • #17
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:48 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  18. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    I didn’t watch this Pam Bondi person all the way through, but her presentation was painful to watch in comparison with the pacing and directness of that French investigative video. She covered some points (e.g. about China) that that video didn’t cover, but her pacing was terrible. And this was in addition to that weasel-worded talk about a “potential appearance of a conflict of interest.” Maybe that terminology didn’t originate with her, but she didn’t need to lend it gravitas. And it was a very leaden gravitas.

    But she does highlight that even during the Obama years there were concerns about Biden directing cash to his son through shady deals with foreign governments. The Obama State Department was worried about it. But now President Trump can’t address it? Why?

    • #18
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:51 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  19. The Reticulator Member

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    I didn’t watch this Pam Bondi person all the way through, but her presentation was painful to watch in comparison with the pacing and directness of that French investigative video. She covered some points (e.g. about China) that that video didn’t cover, but her pacing was terrible. And this was in addition to that weasel-worded talk about a “potential appearance of a conflict of interest.” Maybe that terminology didn’t originate with her, but she didn’t need to lend it gravitas. And it was a very leaden gravitas.

    But she does highlight that even during the Obama years there were concerns about Biden directing cash to his son through shady deals with foreign governments. The Obama State Department was worried about it. But now President Trump can’t address it? Why?

    Yes, that’s good and important, but she could step up the pace and be a little more direct.

    • #19
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:58 PM PST
    • Like
  20. Hoyacon Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    It seems to me that Bolton has been abused by a dishonorable bureaucrat via a mandatory process. No swamp creature was ever as blunt as he tends to be.

    This potentially focuses on an issue with which even Trump defenders should be dissatisfied–finding leaks. It’s absolutely not specific to this Administration, but the ferreting out of leaks (or lack thereof) is a matter of extreme frustration. It’s really not that hard if one has the will and the motivation.

    • #20
    • January 27, 2020, at 6:01 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    It seems to me that Bolton has been abused by a dishonorable bureaucrat via a mandatory process. No swamp creature was ever as blunt as he tends to be.

    This potentially focuses on an issue with which even Trump defenders should be dissatisfied–finding leaks. It’s absolutely not specific to this Administration, but the ferreting out of leaks (or lack thereof) is a matter of extreme frustration. It’s really not that hard if one has the will and the motivation.

    The leaks drive me crazy. Is there no incentive or motivation to find these people and punish them? The damage that has been done even before Trump is unacceptable.

    • #21
    • January 27, 2020, at 6:11 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  22. Hoyacon Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    It seems to me that Bolton has been abused by a dishonorable bureaucrat via a mandatory process. No swamp creature was ever as blunt as he tends to be.

    This potentially focuses on an issue with which even Trump defenders should be dissatisfied–finding leaks. It’s absolutely not specific to this Administration, but the ferreting out of leaks (or lack thereof) is a matter of extreme frustration. It’s really not that hard if one has the will and the motivation.

    The leaks drive me crazy. Is there no incentive or motivation to find these people and punish them? The damage that has been done even before Trump is unacceptable.

    Speculation (based on a degree of experience)–If I find a leaker, the story is news. The question arises as to why that leaker was in place to begin with and in a position to “do harm”–when it was my job (or someone else in the Administration) to monitor the whole process. That’s a problem. There are some leaks that have to be addressed, but most are in the category of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

     

    • #22
    • January 27, 2020, at 6:17 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  23. Chris O. Coolidge
    Chris O.Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Biden is done. If you have any question about that just find the Pat Bondi presentation from today on the internet.

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    I didn’t watch this Pam Bondi person all the way through, but her presentation was painful to watch

    Yeah, she wasn’t good in presentation, but was good in substance.

    • #23
    • January 27, 2020, at 6:20 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  24. Rodin Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    It seems to me that Bolton has been abused by a dishonorable bureaucrat via a mandatory process. No swamp creature was ever as blunt as he tends to be.

    This potentially focuses on an issue with which even Trump defenders should be dissatisfied–finding leaks. It’s absolutely not specific to this Administration, but the ferreting out of leaks (or lack thereof) is a matter of extreme frustration. It’s really not that hard if one has the will and the motivation.

    The leaks drive me crazy. Is there no incentive or motivation to find these people and punish them? The damage that has been done even before Trump is unacceptable.

    Sadly, the reason why leaks are not stopped is that it won’t work unless you sanction both the provider and the recipient of information. Administrations have used leaking as a strategy at times, so they have incentive to not to staunch leaking entirely given that they want “tame” media outlets. 

    • #24
    • January 27, 2020, at 6:23 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  25. The Reticulator Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    It seems to me that Bolton has been abused by a dishonorable bureaucrat via a mandatory process. No swamp creature was ever as blunt as he tends to be.

    This potentially focuses on an issue with which even Trump defenders should be dissatisfied–finding leaks. It’s absolutely not specific to this Administration, but the ferreting out of leaks (or lack thereof) is a matter of extreme frustration. It’s really not that hard if one has the will and the motivation.

    I think it would be about a million times harder for Trump to stop leaks than for a Democrat to do so. The administrative state and its allies provide a wonderful support system for leakers in a Republican administration, and has the ability to hurt those who leak in a Democrat administration. 

    • #25
    • January 27, 2020, at 6:31 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  26. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    By the way . . .

    The Top 5 Books Liberals Thought Would Doom Trump’s Presidency, But Didn’t

    Add Bolton’s to the list . . . 

    Also . . .

    NSC aide handling book approvals is twin brother of Lt. Col. Vindman

    What a strange coincidence!

    • #26
    • January 27, 2020, at 6:38 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  27. Hoyacon Member

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    By the way . . .

    The Top 5 Books Liberals Thought Would Doom Trump’s Presidency, But Didn’t

    Add Bolton’s to the list . . .

    Also . . .

    NSC aide handling book approvals is twin brother of Lt. Col. Vindman

    What a strange coincidence!

    Great stuff. Thanks.

    I’m a Badger-In-Law. Wished we’d touched base on our last trek from LaCrosse to Madison to Milwaukee to Racine.

    • #27
    • January 27, 2020, at 6:46 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Before the book got to the the NSC for vetting, it did have to go through the internal process to get it ready for presentation at the White House through Bolton’s publisher, Simon & Schuster. Which also published (and gave a nice big advance) to Hillary Clinton for her book on the 2016 presidential election.

    So there certainly were people within the publishing house who wouldn’t have thought twice about sending details off to the Times, both for the political timing and simply to boost sales, though both the company and Bolton are denying that’s what happened. But once the manuscript was no longer exclusively in Bolton’s hands, the fact that some of it leaked to make Trump look bad at a key moment isn’t a shock, given both the liberal bent of the NYC publishing industry and the dislike for Trump among some Obama holdovers in the national security and diplomatic hierarchy.

    • #28
    • January 27, 2020, at 6:47 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  29. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Bolton is a convenient club to beat the President.

    I don’t doubt he has his own opinions about Trump’s policies. But I doubt he would violate executive privilege. This is much ado about nothing.

    Bolton comes across as a drama queen to me.

    • #29
    • January 27, 2020, at 7:14 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. StephensJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Published book means Bolton has no honor.

    No one should write a tell all while the POTUS is in office. 

     

    • #30
    • January 27, 2020, at 7:18 PM PST
    • 9 likes

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