Bolton Willing to Testify, Waiting for Ruling on Immunity

Bolton Willing to Testify, Waiting for Ruling on Immunity November 9, 2019

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton is willing to defy Trump and testify before the impeachment inquiry about the Ukraine quid pro quo, but he first wants to wait for the federal courts to rule on the question of whether White House aides can be forced by Congress to answer subpoenas or are immune from such demands.

Former national security adviser John Bolton is willing to defy the White House and testify in the House impeachment inquiry about his alarm at the Ukraine pressure campaign if a federal court clears the way, according to people familiar with his views.

Bolton could be a powerful witness for Democrats: Top State Department and national security officials have already testified that he was deeply concerned about efforts by Trump and his allies to push Ukraine to open investigations into the president’s political rivals while the Trump administration held up military aid to that country.

The former national security adviser, who abruptly left his post in September, is expected to confirm their statements and describe his conversations with Trump, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing inquiry.

However, Bolton, a longtime GOP foreign policy adviser, does not want to comply with the Democratic inquiry without a court ruling on the ongoing constitutional dispute between the Trump administration and Congress, the people said.

Regardless of how he feels about this particular issue, given his very expansive view of executive power this is not at all surprising. Even if he thinks this specific use of executive power was 100% wrong, he would be reluctant to be a part of restricting executive power if the courts don’t signal that they’re going to do so anyway. Unfortunately, this likely delays his testimony until after the 2020 election after all appeals are exhausted.

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