Bolton claims Democrats committed 'impeachment malpractice' by not pushing beyond Ukraine

John Bolton.
(Image credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton has a few suggestions for how Democrats could've handled impeachment better.

In his forthcoming book The Room Where it Happens, Bolton "broadly confirms" Democrats' and impeachment witnesses' account that Trump was "fixated on a bogus claim that Ukraine tried to hurt him," The Washington Post reports via an advance copy. But he goes on to accuse Democrats of "impeachment malpractice" by limiting their investigation to Ukraine, Bolton writes in an excerpt of the book published in The Wall Street Journal.

Bolton "was wary all along of the president's actions with regard to Ukraine," specifically that Trump "explicitly linked" the country's security aid to investigating Hunter Biden and the 2016 election, Bolton claims in his book, per The New York Times reports. Bolton writes that Trump "said he wasn’t in favor of sending [Ukraine] anything until all the Russia-investigation materials related to [Hillary] Clinton and Biden had been turned over." Bolton, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tried "eight to 10 times" to convince Trump to release the aid, Bolton claims.

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But Bolton still faults Democrats for not looking into how Trump avoided touching investigations of Turkey's Halkbank or China's ZTE to avoid upsetting those countries' leaders. "Had Democratic impeachment advocates not been so obsessed with their Ukraine blitzkrieg in 2019, had they taken the time to inquire more systematically about Trump’s behavior across his entire foreign policy, the impeachment outcome might well have been different," Bolton declares.

Of course, Bolton could've told all this to Congress if he had testified during Trump's impeachment trial, but he refused to do so.

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Kathryn Krawczyk

Kathryn is a graduate of Syracuse University, with degrees in magazine journalism and information technology, along with hours to earn another degree after working at SU's independent paper The Daily Orange. She's currently recovering from a horse addiction while living in New York City, and likes to share her extremely dry sense of humor on Twitter.