Bolton's no patriot, just another money-grubber
Sometimes the media bounces from the commendable to the despicable. Like now. After doing an admirable job covering the coronavirus pandemic, the economic collapse, and the Black Lives Matter movement reignited by the murder of George Floyd, print, TV, and social media outlets are now all a flutter over sensational details released from John Bolton’s new tell-all book, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” due out on June 23.
You must admit, it’s fascinating stuff. Bolton doesn’t hold back. Based on what he saw day to day in the White House during his 17-month stint as Trump’s third national security adviser, the president’s even more unfit to govern than we thought. According to Bolton, Trump’s an idiot: He thought Finland was part of Russia, and he didn’t know the UK was a nuclear power. Trump’s a liar: He did, in fact, try to bribe the president of Ukraine into launching an investigation of Joe Biden, but denied doing so. Trump’s a scofflaw: He offered to drop criminal prosecutions of major firms in China and Turkey as “personal favors to dictators he liked.” And Trump’s a criminal: He not only knowingly welcomed help from Russia in the 2016 presidential election, he also begged the President of China to help, both of which actions are illegal.
Add it up. Bolton confirms everything House Democrats charged in the case for the impeachment of Donald Trump they brought before the Senate in December 2019. And more so. By adding China to the countries Trump asked to interfere in our election, his book makes an even stronger case for Trump’s impeachment. There’s only one problem. It comes seven months too late. Where was John Bolton when we needed him?
Always remember this. No matter how juicy these tidbits are, this is information Bolton knew last November and December, when Trump’s impeachment trial was underway. This is the kind of first-hand, eyewitness testimony – from Trump’s top foreign policy adviser - that could have changed the outcome of the Senate vote and perhaps removed Donald Trump from office.
But what did Bolton do? He was invited to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. He refused. Democrats asked him to appear as a witness in the Senate trial. He refused to show up without a subpoena, which Senate Republicans blocked. He could have held a news conference anyway to spill the beans on everything he knew about Trump. He did not. Instead, he remained silent.
Why? One reason only. Because he wanted to save it all until June 2020, when his book would be published, so he could rake in more money. Simply put, Bolton chose profit above principle. He decided it was more important to save his book advance than to save the republic. He withheld vital information from the Congress and the American people until he could use it to sell more books.
For which John Bolton should never be forgiven.
Meanwhile, because it makes him look even more stupid, inept, and corrupt, Trump’s flailing around, doing everything he can to block publication of Bolton’s book. He insisted his lawyers needed more time to excise any sensitive information, even though the White House has already spent more time reviewing the manuscript than Bolton spent writing it. He asserted that every conversation he had with Bolton was “highly classified,” meaning “if the book gets out, he’s broken the law.” And, sure enough, number one Trump suck-up Attorney General Bill Barr promptly filed a lawsuit to stop sales of the book.
Which, of course, is the best thing that could happen to John Bolton. There’s no way Trump can stop his book from publication. It’s already been shipped to bookstores. Advance copies have already been sent to every major media outlet. Thanks to Trump, Bolton’s memoir is already #1 on Amazon, and the more Trump attacks him, the more books Bolton will sell.
So, let Bolton publish his book. But we don’t have to buy it, we don’t have to read it, and we certainly don’t have to admire him for writing it. If only, he’d told the truth in time to make a difference.
Normally, I’d side with anybody Trump attacks, whether it’s Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Jeff Sessions, or Anthony Scaramucci. But not John Bolton. By putting love of book sales over love of country, by refusing to step up to the plate when the nation needed him so badly, Bolton proved he’s no patriot, he’s just another money-grubber.
(Bill Press is host of The BillPressPod, and author of the new book, “Trump Must Go: The Top 100 Reasons to Dump Trump (And One to Keep Him).” His email address is: email@example.com. Readers may also follow him on Twitter @billpresspod.)