Former national security adviser John Bolton responded to criticism about not testifying in either of President Trump’s impeachment trials, saying his testimony would have made no difference in the results. The House impeached Trump in December, while the Senate acquitted him in February.
Bolton refused to testify during the House impeachment trial, which he described as “grossly partisan” and “impeachment malpractice” during Vanderbilt University Wednesday night, according to the Associated Press. The Senate did not call witnesses in their trial.
“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.”
Bolton was criticized last November when he began tweeting about the Trump administration he was ousted from, but showed no signs he was planning to testify. CNN’s Erin Burnett said at the time that if Bolton wanted “to do the right thing and protect American national security instead of getting on a Twitter high horse, he should testify” in the impeachment inquiry hearings into Trump.
He was similarly criticized when it was announced he was writing a memoir, as observers thought it was unseemly for him to turn a profit on his account of the president’s behavior rather than give it to the lawmakers investigating him. In another university talk this week, Bolton said he hopes the book, “The Room Where It Happened,” is “not suppressed.”
The book describes his interaction with the president over Ukraine and other topics such as nuclear proliferation in North Korea. “I hope it’s not suppressed,” Bolton said. “This is an effort to write history, and I did it the best I can. We’ll have to see what comes out of the censorship.”
Wednesday, Bolton referred to the “implied threat of criminal prosecution” if what he shares in the book or would have shared in any possible testimony was determined to be classified information, according to the Associated Press.
“I’m not here to speculate on that with the pre-publication review process under way. 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,” he said.