Bolton:Outcome Not Changed by Testimony02/20 06:30
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Former national security adviser John Bolton on
Wednesday denounced the House's impeachment proceedings against President
Donald Trump as "grossly partisan" and said his testimony would not have
changed Trump's acquittal in the Senate, as he continued to stay quiet on the
details of a yet-to-be-released book.
In his second public discussion this week, Bolton was on stage at Vanderbilt
University with former national security adviser under President Barack Obama,
Susan Rice, who questioned Bolton's refusal to discuss more details while his
book undergoes screening for possible classified national security details by
the Trump administration. Bolton was likewise quiet on specifics from the book
during a Monday speaking engagement at Duke University.
Bolton plans to publish the book next month detailing his time in the White
House, including criticism of Trump actions such as his decision to withhold
military assistance while seeking a political favor from Ukraine. He said he
believes the book doesn't contain classified information.
Bolton contended that the House "committed impeachment malpractice," drawing
some grumbling from the audience, saying "the process drove Republicans who
might have voted for impeachment away because it was so partisan." He also said
he didn't expect the Senate to vote against having him testify.
"People can argue about what I should have said and what I should have
done," Bolton said. "I would bet you a dollar right here and now, my testimony
would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome."
In leaked passages from the book's manuscript, Bolton says Trump told him he
was conditioning the release of military aid to Ukraine on whether its
government would help investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
Rice said she also underwent a White House pre-clearance process for her own
book. She said nothing caused her "to refuse to share information with Congress
or the public that I thought was of national import."
"I can't imagine withholding my testimony, with or without a subpoena," Rice
said. "I also can't imagine, frankly, in the absence of being able to provide
that information directly to Congress, not having exercised my First Amendment
right to speak publicly at a time when my testimony or my experience would be
For anyone saying he should just "spill his guts" on what he knows, Bolton
cited the "implied threat of criminal prosecution" if what he shares is
determined to be classified information. Asked if he would have testified under
a House subpoena, Bolton again cited the review process.
"I'm not here to speculate on that with the pre-publication review process
under way," Bolton said, drawing some laughs from the audience. "Laugh all you
want. This is the judgment of my counsel, somebody I worked with 35 years ago,
30 years ago at the Department of Justice."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam
Schiff have put off --- but not ruled out --- a subpoena for Bolton, who
refused to participate in the House impeachment inquiry but later said he would
testify in the Senate trial.