Administration

Bolton claims House should have investigated other impeachable offenses by Trump

Former White House national security adviser John Bolton claims in his forthcoming memoir that President Trump committed multiple impeachable offenses that House Democrats never investigated, according to a copy of the book obtained by The New York Times.

In the memoir, “The Room Where It Happened,” Bolton claims that not only did Trump explicitly condition aid to Ukraine on investigations involving former Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he on several occasions signaled that he was willing to end criminal investigations “to, in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked.” 

Bolton writes that Trump’s pattern of behavior “looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn’t accept,” and that he scheduled a meeting to discuss it with Attorney General William Barr.

Trump also allegedly tried to persuade Chinese President Xi Jinping to buy large amounts of agricultural products to improve his reelection prospects in agricultural states.

Trump was “pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win. He stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome,” Bolton wrote.

Bolton expanded on the China allegations in an excerpt published by The Wall Street Journal, claiming Trump’s negotiations with Xi “formed a pattern of fundamentally unacceptable behavior that eroded the very legitimacy of the presidency.”

“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,” he writes.

Bolton accuses House Democrats of committing “impeachment malpractice” in limiting their inquiry to Ukraine, saying they should have probed the president’s willingness to interfere in investigations into companies such as Turkey’s Halkbank and China’s ZTE to curry favor with their respective leaders.

“Had the House not focused solely on the Ukraine aspects of Trump’s confusion of his personal interests,” he wrote, “there might have been a greater chance to persuade others that ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ had been perpetrated.”

Bolton and his publisher are currently engaged in a legal battle with the White House over the book, which administration lawyers have claimed still contains classified information even after redactions the publisher made at the White House’s request.

Bolton’s team has said the book will still be published on Tuesday.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.

Tags 'In The Room Where It Happened' 2020 election Donald Trump Donald Trump Impeachment Hillary Clinton Joe Biden John Bolton John Bolton memoir William Barr Xi Jinping

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