Kentucky Senator Rand Paul announced his opposition to summoning former national security adviser John Bolton as a witness in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
“He’s a disgruntled employee with an ax to grind,” Paul, told the Washington Post.
Paul has notoriously opposed Bolton’s hawkish views on the Middle East.
Trump informed reporters in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 that testimony coming from certain officials who worked in the Trump administration, including Bolton, could be a potential threat to national security.
Democrats have clamored for Bolton, who left the White House in September on bad terms after butting heads with Trump on foreign policy matters, to testify about Trump’s conduct in the Ukraine controversy. Trump said he “would rather” have Bolton speak before the Senate, but “the problem with John is that it’s a national security problem.”
“He knows some of my thoughts. He knows what I think about leaders. What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader, and it’s not very positive, and then I have to deal on behalf of the country? It’s going to be very hard. It’s going to make the job very hard. He knows other things. And I don’t know if we left on the best of terms. I would say probably not,” Trump stated.
Fiona Hill, Bolton’s former aide, testified before the House that Bolton was against the Ukraine pressure campaign, saying he did not want to participate in what he described as a “drug deal” that other Trump administration officials were “cooking up.”
He is allegedly writing about “at least some of what he saw” regarding Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter in a book he is expected to release soon.
“Some people who have talked to him think he has an ax to grind, that he’s angry he was publicly fired by the president. But he also has a history of believing in unlimited powers for the president. Which is the guiding light for John Bolton at this point? Ax to grind and books to sell? Or be a player and say, ‘Even if I’m gone, he’s doing what I want on Iran and other things?’” Paul stated.
The Kentucky Senator has the right instincts here.
Bolton is still likely bitter about his firing from the Trump administration and will use whatever opportunity he can get to swipe back at Trump.
Given his establishment track record, bringing Bolton back into the public could prove to be disastrous for Trump.
It’s best that Trump officially close this chapter of the Bolton saga and let Bolton complain about him in his forthcoming book.