WSJ: Bolton is a wild card and a major migraine for Trump attorneys

https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-bolton-represents-a-big-wild-card-in-impeachment-11580132947

For those who can’t access WSJ, a couple of outtakes.

“Still, in constructing their defense, the president’s supporters have essentially tried to have it both ways in the Ukraine case: They have insisted there was no quid pro quo demand for Biden investigations made while withholding aid from Ukraine, and that it would be entirely proper even if there were. The Trump defense now may feel compelled to lean on the latter argument.”

If that is the case it makes a blatant liar out of the president about “no quid pro quo”. But, hey, what else is new.

“Now, Mr. Bolton’s broader credibility with conservatives, and his career-long tendency to speak his mind no matter what, mean he represents a migraine headache-in-the-making for the White House.”

Interestingly enough, if the White House lawyers did know about this and subsequently lied in the trial, there may be other problems.

“Oh, what webs we weave…”

59 thoughts on “WSJ: Bolton is a wild card and a major migraine for Trump attorneys

  1. Word is, if Dems offer John Bolton a war with Iran or Russian, he will be willing to work with them on this.

    In all seriousness, I don’t know who originally proposed the Biden-Bolton swap; however, I do know that both Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer are on the record opposing it. Furthermore, the President has stated that he will invoke executive privilege to block Mr Bolton from testifying — and despite what blind sheep say, EP does not magically evaporate in the Senate chamber.

    I also know that three of the so-called moderate GOPsters that Dems need to win over are on the record saying that if one side gets witnesses, so does the other. Therefore, it would seem that unless the Bidens reconsider, there will be no additional witnesses.

    The NY Times’ unverified leaks and unnamed sources haven’t changed any of those facts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whiffff. LOL!

      By the way, Executive Privilege – which is very limited in its actual scope – cannot be legally used to cover up criminal behavior. Furthermore, it cannot be used in a case like this where the matters to be hidden by it are already known.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL . . . Unverified information from unnamed sources is not TRUTH.

        Dems want to hear from John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, Robert Blair, and Michael Duffey.

        GOPsters want to hear from Joe and Hunter Biden, Adam Schiff and Eric CIA.

        That sounds fair to me, but 51 votes are required and that is why it likely will not happen.

        Like

        1. The GOP wants to hear from witnesses that are not relevant to Mr.. Trump’s actions. The Democrats want to hear from fact witnesses concerning the decision making process wrt the Ukraine “policy”. WRT impeachment, the Bidens have zero to do with what Trump did except to be the target of the announced investigations. They have no insight into Trump’s alleged impeachable activities.

          If Congress feels that an investigation into the Bidens is warranted, then do what they did with Clinton and Benghazi; open several until they figure out there is no there there.

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          1. Insane defenses of obvious corruption really doesn’t deserve a retort; not that it would make a difference.

            A tendency to Tribalism/Cultism are amazing their ability to produce blindness to reality…

            IMHO

            Liked by 2 people

          2. I don’t call witnesses, so don’t blame me — blame the President’s defense team — and the “moderate” GOPsters who say that if one side gets them, so does the other. That tells me that if the Bidens refuse to testify, we will not be hearing from Mr Bolton either.

            In any case, Mr Bolton needs to issue a statement either confirming or debunking the NY Times’ story. If he confirms it, then, we would have something; however, until then, this is just more of the same old 11th-hour smoke and mirrors that Dems always play.

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        2. RE: “If Congress feels that an investigation into the Bidens is warranted, then do what they did with Clinton and Benghazi; open several”

          That’s already in the works, based in part on evidence the House turned up that senior State Department officials, and others, expressed formal concerns over Joe Biden’s known conflicts of interest with respect to Ukraine policy.

          Like

          1. “In the works”?

            And those concerns actually boiled down to bad optics. But again, open an investigation. Don’t tell me it’s in the works. That does nothing except to tell Mr. Trump “We got your back. Until we don’t”. – IMHO.

            Liked by 1 person

        3. Don’t forget Alexandra Chalupa, whose actions on behalf of the DNC establish collusion between the DNC and Ukrainian oligarchs to influence the 2016 election, thus justifying the call for a Ukrainian investigation of corruption independent of the Bidens.

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          1. @Tabor

            The lies are getting more and more desperate. Ms. Chalupa is an American citizen PAID to do opposition research. And, yes, she dug into the corruption of Trump’s campaign manager in the Ukraine who you may know is now in jail. If you really believe there is a there there, where are the warrants and indictments from the Trump DOJ?

            Liked by 2 people

    2. RE: “Executive Privilege…cannot be legally used to cover up criminal behavior.”

      No, it cannot. Only a court can say if that rule applies here.

      Bolton would violate executive privilege if he testified to personal conversations he had with the president. POTUS would be within his rights to prohibit such testimony until overruled by the courts.

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      1. @Roberts

        First of all, Trump would have to invoke Executive Privilege. He has not. And, IMHO, he will not. Why not? The answer is clear. If he did he would have to make available to the court the ALL the materials he believed to be privileged. Since criminal conduct is not privileged he would have shot himself in the face by invoking it.

        Second, once material has come into the public domain by other means, it is no longer privileged. By testifying under oath to the facts reported in his book, Bolton would not be violating Executive Privilege for that reason.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “The answer is clear.”

        Good to know that your assertions are the only ones that matter.

        As for Bolton’s book, the material it contains has not yet been placed in the public record.

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        1. RE: “The key points being described in the New York Time IS a public record.”

          Without the book, we have no reason to think the NYT material is accurate.

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          1. @Roberts

            “. . . we have no reason to think the NYT material is accurate.”

            We have PLENTY of reason to think the NYT material is accurate. Starting with 170 years of journalistic excellence. And 127 Pulitizer Prizes. They make mistakes from time to time but when they do, they admit their error. They are the polar opposite of “fake news.”

            Besides that no one in the White House is disputing the NYT story about Bolton’s book.
            Their “defense” is the usual one – everyone but Trump is a liar. Funny how many liars he brought in to his inner circle, eh?

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  2. RE: “If that is the case it makes a blatant liar out of the president about ‘no quid pro quo’.”

    I don’t see how. The two propositions are entirely compatible:

    • No one demanded Biden be prosecuted for an illegal quid pro quo when he did it.
    • If Biden’s quid pro quo was legal, so was Trump’s.

    RE: “if the White House lawyers did know about this [Bolton’s allegations] and subsequently lied in the trial, there may be other problems.”

    What lie do you think the president’s lawyers told?

    I think you are trying too hard to find lies where they don’t exist.

    Like

    1. “No one demanded Biden be prosecuted for an illegal quid pro quo when he did it.”

      Bzzzzz. Wrong! There was no Biden QPQ. There was Biden executing the policy of the Obama administration, along with the desires of several other western governments.

      You keep trying to equate the actions of the two and they do not add up. Governmental policy versus the wishes for a political favor. 2 + 2 does not equal 5, no matter how many times you say it does.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. RE: “There was Biden executing the policy of the Obama administration”

      Yes. The policy of the Obama administration was to extract a QPQ from Ukraine.

      Like

      1. I thought it was Biden demanding a quid-pro-quo? Now you agree that it was the policy of the administration. But that policy was to have a corrupt prosecutor removed. And it was also the policy of several other western powers and the IMF.

        Cherry picking that which backs your thoughts and ignoring the entire story is a wonderful way to go through life. If you work for Hostess.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “I thought it was Biden demanding a quid-pro-quo?”

        Yes, as point man for the administration.

        BTW, whether the prosecutor was corrupt is a matter of dispute at present. He gave sworn testimony to a Ukrainian court that he was in fact investigating Burisma at the time he was fired. If true, and Biden and the other western powers and the IMF you mention knew about it, then Biden’s (and others’) corruption is doubly profound.

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        1. “Yes, as point man for the administration.”

          But NOT, as you so wish it to be, for personal political gain. Big difference.

          The reporting of what he stated in court and what really was going on is quite different. It has been reported by Ukrainian sources, both government and media, that the investigation into Burisma had gone dormant, because he actually STOPPED investigating.

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        2. RE: “But NOT, as you so wish it to be, for personal political gain. Big difference.”

          If you say so. Personal financial gain is certainly different from personal political gain.

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          1. So what personal financial gain was Joe Biden receiving? AND the fact that Hunter was chosen for the board has nothing to do with it. Just because YOU say it does, does not make it true.

            An old friend of mine, an attorney from Mass, once said during an adult education class, that “Volume does not equal veracity.” Saying repeatedly is akin to being loud IMHO.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. RE: “AND the fact that Hunter was chosen for the board has nothing to do with it.”

            Under federal conflict of interest standards, benefits received by a family member qualify as benefits received by the principle. In effect, Hunter Biden’s corrupt profits were Joe Biden’s corrupt profits.

            I’m not asserting my own beliefs. This is why State Department officials raised red flags over Joe Biden’s quid pro quo.

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      3. @Roberts

        “The policy of the Obama administration was to extract a QPQ from Ukraine.”

        Yes, it was. The Quid was allowing loan guarantees to go forward. The Quo was the removal of an official in whom the international community guaranteeing the loans had lost faith in.

        Your making this point seems to indicate that you think a “quid pro quo” arrangement is criminal? It is not. It is the essence of any deal. But, there are legal deals and illegal deals. Not hard to understand.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. RE: “Your making this point seems to indicate that you think a ‘quid pro quo’ arrangement is criminal?”

        I do not in fact think that, and have never said that I do. I have, however, said that if Trump’s QPQ (assuming it actually happened) was an abuse of power, then so was Biden’s. In other words, the anti-Trumpers cannot allege that Trump did wrong and Biden didn’t without invoking a double standard.

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        1. If Biden was wrong, then so is Trump. Convict Trump and elect Sanders in 2020. Or Amy or Elizabeth.

          Problem solved.

          Or to put it simpler: If Joe stays out late that does not mean you can do that also, Don.

          Liked by 2 people

    3. @Roberts

      Biden’s demand was not illegal. Duh!

      Biden was acting to implement the official policy of the United States and other allied governments. He was acting to remove a prosecutor known to be corrupt. He was not acting for something of value to him. In fact, an honest prosecutor would be MORE likely to investigate people like Burisma, not less likely.

      Trump, on the other hand, made the quid pro quo demand with respect to a personal benefit and not for the national interests. That made it illegal. That difference is easy for anyone who is not a dope to understand. Don’t you agree.

      If Trump’s defenders had knowledge of Bolton’s assertions (as you claimed to make another point) they lied in their presentation when they said categorically that there was no quid pro quo.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RE: “He was acting to remove a prosecutor known to be corrupt.”

        Shokin in only alleged to have been corrupt. If he wasn’t, then all the corruption belongs to the Obama administration and the international interests who hired Hunter Biden as an insurance policy against prosecution.

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        1. @Roberts

          Okay, I will answer your defense of Shokin by changing “known” to “believed.”

          Better?

          The point is, the countries guaranteeing huge loans to Ukraine wanted him gone as a condition for proceeding. Biden was acting on that policy – not for a personal benefit.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. RE: “Biden was acting on that policy – not for a personal benefit.”

          One can make the same case about Trump. After all, there was a personal benefit to be reaped from Biden’s actions, just as Trump might have gained a personal benefit from doing the legitimate business of the nation.

          Like

          1. @Roberts

            The nonsense never stops.

            There was no personal benefit for Biden. The opposite in fact – if he was actually corrupt – because a new prosecutor might well re-open investigations of Burisma that had been closed more than a year earlier.

            Demanding without evidence or warrants announcements of investigations of Trump’s political opponents and demanding pursuit of already debunked nonsense about Ukraine having the DNC server hidden somewhere is NOT “doing the legitimate business of the nation.” Obviously.

            Furfthermore, if it really was about getting to the bottom of Biden corruption why the demand for a public announcement of the investigation by the President of Ukraine. Such an investigation would be more likely to succeed flying under the radar. Don’t you think?

            Liked by 2 people

          2. RE: “There was no personal benefit for Biden.”

            Right. Because you say so. As I see it, if Hunter profited, Joe was a beneficiary. But apart from that, Guliani seems to think Joe Biden himself took bribes over Burisma. I’m looking forward to more information on that allegation.

            And apart from that, show us the public record in which Trump actually demanded an announcement of investigations by Ukraine. Of anything.

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      2. RE: “If Trump’s defenders had knowledge of Bolton’s assertions (as you claimed to make another point) they lied in their presentation when they said categorically that there was no quid pro quo.”

        I don’t see how, since there was in fact no quid pro quo.

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          1. @Roberts

            Actually it is. “Begging the question” is assuming the conclusion you want to prove. You want to prove that Trump’s lawyers did not lie when – in spite of what they knew about Bolton’s evidence – they claimed there was no quid pro quo. To prove your point you assume they were telling the truth because, you say, there was no quid pro quo. In spite of old and new evidence that there was. If you do not understand how circular that is, then you are beyond my help.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “To prove your point you assume they were telling the truth”

            No. That Trump’s lawyers were telling the truth can be deduced in multiple ways. Here I merely dispute your claim that they were lying by pointing out that the absence of a demonstrable quid pro quo is one aspect of their truth telling.

            Like

          3. RE: “So far, it seems the book asserts pretty straightforward evidence of a qpq.”

            What makes you say so?

            Like

        1. So far, it seems the book asserts pretty straightforward evidence of a qpq. So if that is the case, and the lawyers for Trump were aware of that, then they lied to Congress.

          More to come, for sure. Bolton’s bona fides are pretty good and he was a staunch conservative and big donor to the GOP. I think to the tune of around $1 million over the years.

          And he was certainly no liberal by any stretch.

          I predict some pretty athletic tap dancing from the Trump legal team.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. RE: “So far, it seems the book asserts pretty straightforward evidence of a qpq.”

            What makes you say so?

            Like

  3. There is another – albeit less important – hint of corruption in Bolton’s draft book. Seems that he and others thought that the sleaze bag Rudy Giuliani might well be in the employ of shadowy Ukraine interests when he was working the smear campaign to get the crime fighting ambassador – Marie Yovanovitch – removed. Pompeo let it happen anyway.

    “All the best people . . .”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So what? That’s just an allegation that can be proved one way or the other. So far, it hasn’t been, making it just the stuff of fantasy and slander.

      Like

      1. So what?

        The way that the ambassador was attacked with lies and smears is sleazy – don’t you think. And it is doubly sleazy if it was done for dirty money. If it was only a fantasy it was one circulating around the White House and, apparently, Pompeo was not man enough to defend his own people. As to whether it can be proved or not – well, given what happened to Manafort, Rudy better be careful filing his tax returns.

        But really, the point I was making that Trump promised to surround himself with “the best people.” Instead, we got the likes of Rudy Giuiliani and, of course, others now in jail or disgrace.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “The way that the ambassador was attacked with lies and smears is sleazy – don’t you think.”

        No I don’t. More to the point, I don’t care. She’s a big girl.

        RE: “But really, the point I was making that Trump promised to surround himself with ‘the best people.'”

        That and a buck fifty will get you a cup of coffee.

        Like

  4. A QPQ trading US assets solely for personal gain would be corrupt.

    A QPQ trading US assets for actions in the national interests are referred to as ‘foreign policy.’

    If the truth about the Bidens and the DNCs actions coming out also benefits President Trump’s reelection, so what?, so long as getting the truth first serves the national interest, which by definition, it does.

    Like

    1. @Tabor

      “Foreign policy”

      Your “arguments” are veering ever further into fantasyland. “The Truth is out there” is a meme from the X-Files. The X-Files is fiction.

      No one has produced any actionable evidence of wrong-doing by Joe or Hunter Biden. If they had, the Trump DOJ would be all over it. In fact, it seems from what I have seen that even William Barr refused to weaponize law enforcement on behalf of Trump’s campaign which lead to the pressure on Ukraine to do it instead. The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again!

      If this investigation of the Bidens is somehow a legitimate pursuit of our “national interest” (even though the people on the ground testified that it wasn’t) please explain how that “national interest” would be served by the President of Ukraine be required to publicly announce such an investigation. Can you? You are pretty creative spinning up excuses. Give it a whirl.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RE: “No one has produced any actionable evidence of wrong-doing by Joe or Hunter Biden.”

        A meaningless talking point.

        Like

        1. @Roberts

          Sure Hunter Biden got a nice good-paying gig on a board. The point, though, is that there is no evidence of his having done anything illegal. Maybe it should be illegal for family members of public officials to serve on boards, but it isn’t. Maybe President Warren can do something about that.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. RE: “The point, though, is that there is no evidence of his having done anything illegal.”

            The State Department and others raised Conflict of Interest red flags. That’s a bid deal, and it refutes your claim.

            Like

          2. “ The U.S. diplomat, George Kent, who was the State Department’s deputy chief of mission in Ukraine, told congressional investigators on Tuesday that he became aware of Hunter Biden’s Burisma board seat in early 2015 and spoke to a Biden staffer about it.

            At the time, Joe Biden’s other son, Beau, was dying from cancer.

            “Kent testified that he raised this issue – the perception of a conflict of interest – that was problematic,” the source said. “What he was told by the Biden official was that Beau’s dying of cancer and they didn’t have any further bandwidth to deal with family issues.”

            Is that the red flag you are referring to?

            Liked by 1 person

        2. @Roberts

          A meaningless talking point?

          That may be true for Trumpists who do not believe in the law or the Constitution. Those of us who do believe in our founding principles and documents think that it is wrong for the government to act against individuals without evidence, probable cause or legal warrants. But, hey, that is just us. We do not want to live under a king either. We differ there too.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Truth, a novel concept in the age of Trump;

    “A QPQ trading US assets solely for personal gain would be corrupt.” Trump

    “A QPQ trading US assets for actions in the national interests are referred to as ‘foreign policy.’” Obama administration policy and that of other western powers providing aid to Ukraine. Foreign policy.

    Your wish for the truth about the Bidens is admirable. But the truth is already out there and there is no there there. You continue to throw things against the wall hoping they will stick, you’ll need rotator cup surgery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “But the truth is already out there and there is no there there.”

      And what truth would that be? I see lot’s of evidence of Biden corruption. I propose it be explored and vetted. All you do is claim it doesn’t exist. That’s a false claim on its face.

      Like

      1. Where is proof of Biden corruption? You see lot’s of evidence, but it only exists in the world of unicorns that Trumpists live in. The overwhelming evidence of Trump corruption doesn’t exist in that world either. But in the real world, where the majority of fair minded people live, it is and has been right there in front of us.

        Liked by 1 person

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