House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said John Bolton’s tell-all book is unlikely to change the refusal of Senate Republicans to remove Donald Trump from office “no matter how unfit the president is.”
The California Democrat told reporters Thursday that the former national security adviser “chose royalty over patriotism” in making a book deal after refusing to appear before the House’s impeachment hearings without a subpoena.
She said Bolton’s new book shows “President Trump is ethically unfit and intellectually unprepared to be president of the United States.”
Trump has accused Bolton of breaking the law by revealing classified information, while also referring to him as a liar and a “wacko.” Bolton served in Trump’s administration from April 2018 to September 2019.
Pelosi said she will meet with key committee chairmen “to make a judgment” on what to do in response to Bolton’s accusations that Trump pursued his own political interests over the nation’s on matters from China to Ukraine. “It’s not necessarily whether we subpoena or what,” she said.
A decision to subpoena Bolton now would amount to a reversal of a calculation that House Democrats made during their impeachment inquiry, in which they abandoned such an effort because of the likelihood it would become tied up in the courts.
The Republican-led Senate, which chose not to pursue testimony by Bolton, acquitted Trump on all of the House’s impeachment counts. Fifty-one Senate Republicans also voted to block testimony from Bolton and other witnesses.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement that “the revelations in Mr. Bolton’s book make Senate Republicans’ craven actions on impeachment look even worse — and history will judge them for it.”
Asked if Bolton should be called now to testify, Senator John Cornyn of Texas, a senior Republican, said “he’s trying to sell a book, and we’ve got so many things that are more important to do that that would not be my priority.” He cited issues including police reform and responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
— With assistance by Laura Litvan
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