In a Wednesday appearance at Vanderbilt University with fellow former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, John Bolton said that his testimony during President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial would not have changed the outcome.
The Senate, which is Republican-controlled, decided not to call Bolton or any other witnesses. If Bolton had been called to testify, Trump suggested that he would have invoked executive privilege to prevent his testimony in order to protect future presidents, Politico reported.
“People can argue about what I should have said and what I should have done,” Bolton said Wednesday, according to the Washington Examiner. “I would bet you a dollar right here and now, my testimony would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome.”
Bolton also argued that the House “committed impeachment malpractice” and that “the process drove Republicans who might have voted for impeachment away because it was so partisan.”
Bolton book leak
The pressure for Bolton to testify intensified after an excerpt from his book was leaked to The New York Times in which Bolton allegedly said that Trump told him he wanted to withhold aid to Ukraine until they agreed to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s possible involvement in his son Hunter’s business dealings in the country, as well as corruption that may have occurred during the 2016 election cycle.
Republicans argued during impeachment saga that what Trump said didn’t matter as much as the fact that the Ukraine aid was actually released without any announcement of investigations.
Bolton’s book has been under review by the National Security Council over the last several weeks, and it has been reported that the manuscript contains significant classified material that must be removed before it can be released. White House lawyer Pat Philbin said last month that the book contained top-secret information and that officials were working with Bolton’s attorney to remove all of the classified material before publication, according to NBC News.
Bolton, for his part, addressed the book’s publication at a Monday appearance at Duke University.
“I say things in the manuscript about what [Trump] said to me; I hope they become public someday,” Bolton said, according to ABC News. “He tweets, but I can’t talk about it — how fair is that?”
It has “not been my intention to reveal any classified information, but to tell people what actually went on so that they can judge for themselves whether it’s appropriate,” Bolton added. “I really hope [the book] is not suppressed.”
Bolton did say that the portion of the book that talks about Ukraine is small, calling the overall manuscript his attempt to “write history.”
The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir is set to be released on March 17.