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Opinion John Bolton has patriotic duty to testify to the House

18:25  14 november  2019
18:25  14 november  2019 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

John Bolton has a book deal, publishing officials tell AP

  John Bolton has a book deal, publishing officials tell AP Former national security adviser John Bolton has a book deal, The Associated Press has learned. The hawkish Bolton departed in September because of numerous foreign policy disagreements with President Donald Trump. He reached a deal over the past few weeks with Simon & Schuster, according to three publishing officials with knowledge of negotiations. The officials were not authorized to discuss the deal publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

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a close up of John R. Bolton wearing glasses© Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.

Former national security adviser John Bolton should save the whole country weeks of turmoil by agreeing to testify at the House impeachment hearings.

For weeks, the testimony of other witnesses, plus leaks of messages originally promulgated by his own lawyers, have made clear that Bolton had first-hand conversations with President Trump concerning Ukrainian matters. A first-hand account such as Bolton’s would be much harder to explain away than the second-hand accounts of others. If Bolton testifies, it would allow House investigators to “cut to the chase,” so to speak, providing needed information to the public much sooner. It would allow House members to reach firm conclusions more quickly as well.

Ex-Trump aide John Bolton has book deal, may publish ahead of 2020 election, reports say

  Ex-Trump aide John Bolton has book deal, may publish ahead of 2020 election, reports say The same literary agency that represented James Comey and the anonymous author of "A Warning" helped John Bolton land the $2 million deal.Bolton has a deal with publisher Simon & Schuster to write a book that may publish ahead of the 2020 election, the Associated Press and CNN reported, citing unnamed sources.

There is an important caveat, however. Bolton has indicated he is willing to testify, but only if a court clears him to do so despite instructions from the White House for him not to do so. Technically, he has a point: Executive privileges do exist and, while not properly as protective as the Trump White House claims, they still are at their strongest in the realm of direct conversations with the president and especially when involving diplomacy.

For Bolton to refuse to buck a privilege claim from the White House is, to his credit, in line with a consistent position of his over the years. Namely, Bolton long has argued that the presidency enjoys a strong presumption of independent judgment, action, and discretion in the realm of diplomacy and military policy. Although some of us may not believe the executive prerogatives are quite so strong, we should acknowledge Bolton is showing intellectual integrity here.

Mulvaney Request to Join Subpoena Lawsuit Opposed by House

  Mulvaney Request to Join Subpoena Lawsuit Opposed by House The U.S. House of Representatives opposed a request by Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s acting chief of staff, to join a lawsuit seeking a judge’s guidance whether he must comply with a subpoena to testify at impeachment hearings. © Bloomberg Mick Mulvaney Mulvaney is seeking to join a suit filed by Charles Kupperman, the former deputy of National Security Advisor John Bolton, who is seeking a ruling on whether he must testify even though he was ordered not to by the White House.

Remember, Bolton is no suck-up to Trump. He is known to have deep disagreements with Trump, and no personal reason to want to protect this president. For all those reasons, his reluctance to testify is no mark of cowardice or cover-up. Nonetheless, he should overcome that reluctance.

As the impeachment saga involving Richard Nixon showed 45 years ago, executive privilege claims are not absolute. With the Supreme Court ruling that the veil of privilege could be pierced in court proceedings, and with Congress threatening to imprison executive branch officials who continued to defy House subpoenas, even Nixon relented and waived his claims of privilege.

In this case, what Bolton knows is directly and fundamentally essential to understanding whether or not Trump abused executive power, perhaps even in criminal ways. Even he must admit, despite his preference for a strong executive, that not all presidential behavior can justly be shielded from the American public. Also, in this case Bolton would not be shielding deliberative processes important for broader U.S. foreign policy — which is what privilege claims are for — but instead would be shielding key evidence of whether or not the president committed abusive acts. As with the Nixon imbroglio, presidential privilege claims are far weaker in circumstances such as these.

Finally, it has been widely reported that Bolton has worked out a lucrative book deal. Presumably, he will be relating plenty of internal White House events anyway. How can he do so with any integrity while refusing a duly enacted congressional subpoena about conduct most appropriately divulgeable to Congress and the public?

The House impeachment managers should subpoena Bolton immediately, and Bolton ought to agree to comply. For its own civic health, the nation needs to get through this civic trauma as efficiently as possible. Bolton owes a higher duty to the nation as a whole than he does to a presidency, especially if what he has witnessed is a president who is corrupt.

Bolton re-emerges after public hiatus charging White House froze his Twitter account .
Former national security adviser John Bolton said Friday the White House barred him from his own Twitter account after he left the administration and suggested it acted out of concern about what he might say. © Alex Wong/Getty Images National Security Adviser John Bolton speaks during a White House news briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House October 3, 2018 in Washington, DC. Bolton, a constant if unseen presence during the House impeachment inquiry into Trump, reappeared on Twitter Friday after a months-long public hiatus since his departure from the White House in September.

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