Former national security adviser John BoltonJohn Bolton South Korea criticizes Bolton’s book as “distorting reality” of nuclear talks Democrats face tough questions with Bolton Nadler to quote AG Barr over Berman’s firing MORE said in an interview Tuesday that he would consider testifying against the Attorney General William BarrBill BarrNadler to cite AG Barr for Berman firing Republican protests around Trump after firing Manhattan federal prosecutor Trump says Obama may have committed treason MORE if House Democrats seek your testimony.
Bolton expressed some reluctance to cooperate with House Democrats, noting how they handled the impeachment investigation into President TrumpDonald John Trump South Korea criticizes Bolton’s book as ‘distorting reality’ of nuclear talks Democrats face tough questions with Bolton protesters trying to tear down Andrew Jackson statue near White House MOREUkraine contacts. But the veteran diplomat said he would consult with his attorneys if called.
“I will certainly consider it if it comes up and consult with my attorneys and try to do the right thing,” Bolton said in a virtual interview with Robert Costa of The Washington Post.
The question arises when the House Judiciary Committee prepares to subpoena Barr for an investigation focused on the firing of federal prosecutor Geoffrey Berman, who was investigating members of the president’s family and the inner circle in the Southern District of New York (SDNY).
Bolton said he was unaware of Berman’s firing. But he said he heard Trump raise the SDNY investigation into Turkish bank Halkbank, which was under investigation for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions on Iran, when he spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
He said this interaction, as well as Trump’s comments “about what he would do to influence her,” left him and others concerned. Costa then asked if he would be willing to testify against Barr if House Democrats pursued an investigation into the attorney general.
In his new book published this week, Bolton reports a string of new allegations about Trump’s contacts with foreign leaders. One of those claims is that Trump enlisted the help of Chinese President Xi Jinping to win reelection by emphasizing the importance of getting the vote of American farmers and advocated that China make more purchases of American soybeans and wheat to help with such efforts.
His book also paints the White House as a place of chaos, filled with assassins and high-ranking government officials who yield to the whims and demands of the President.
The White House tried to block publication of his book, arguing that it contains classified information, but a federal judge on Saturday denied his efforts.
When asked if he would testify against Barr, Bolton pointed to this White House fight, noting that it is “campaign season,” suggesting that the Trump administration will fight to prevent any potentially damaging information from coming to light.
“You know I would rather not go into a hypothetical situation,” Bolton told Costa. “Let’s see what they do. I must say that the way the impeachment investigation was mishandled stops me, especially in light of the circumstances and the things President Trump has done to prevent the book from being published.”
Bolton, who denied any interest in running for president in 2024, also said he dealt “extensively” with the question of testifying during the impeachment investigation led by House Democrats last year. He has come under heavy criticism, particularly from Democrats, for not testifying last year, and some critics question his patriotism.
In turn, Bolton said he thought the Democrats made a “strategic mistake” and disagreed with his argument that accusing Trump will limit his behavior.
“That is exactly the opposite of what happened. He was not only charged. He was acquitted. Therefore, his actions did not deter similar future conduct by Trump. They allowed it. And I thought it was a mistake.” Bolton said, describing his actions as “a sign of virtue.”
During the House impeachment investigation last year, Bolton threatened to join a lawsuit filed by his deputy that challenged a subpoena for his testimony. Democrats abandoned their search for fear that the legal challenge would help them run out of time.
Bolton then frustrated both parties and the White House by offering to testify during the Republican-controlled Senate impeachment trial. Republican senators finally defeated the Democrats’ drive to listen to witnesses.
Bolton said he thought it was a better course to include his observations in a book to help guide voters, who can decide whether Trump has another term.
“I will respect what I said in the book,” Bolton said.