Trump’s purported statement, as described by Bolton, would directly tie the US military aid freeze with the President’s requests that Ukraine announce investigations into his political rivals — undermining a key pillar of the President’s impeachment defense that the two circumstances are unrelated.
There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe Biden or his son, Hunter Biden, in Ukraine, and Joe Biden has repeatedly defended his son and himself.
Bolton spokeswoman Sarah Tinsley said the draft of the book “was transmitted to the White House for pre-publication review by the National Security Council.”
As for the claim in the New York Times that Bolton has circulated a draft manuscript to his close aides, Tinsley said, “The ambassador has not passed the draft manuscript to anyone. Period.”
Tinsley declined to comment on the contents of the book manuscript.
“There can be no doubt now that Mr. Bolton directly contradicts the heart of the President’s defense and therefore must be called as a witness at the impeachment trial of President Trump,” the statement said, adding “There is no defensible reason to wait until his book is published, when the information he has to offer is critical to the most important decision Senators must now make — whether to convict the President of impeachable offenses.”
The House managers added: “Americans know that a fair trial must include both the documents and witnesses blocked by the President — that starts with Mr. Bolton.”
In the draft book manuscript, Bolton describes how the Ukraine scandal developed in his final months in the White House, including new details about different senior administration officials’ involvement, according to the Times.
This includes an account of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledging privately that claims made by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani about then ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch being corrupt had no basis, according to the Times.
The Times also reports that Bolton wrote in the draft that acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was present during at least one phone call where Giuliani and Trump discussed Yovanovitch.
Bolton also claims in his draft manuscript, according to the paper, that he told Attorney General Bill Barr that Trump had mentioned him during his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. A Justice Department official, however, told CNN that while Barr and Bolton spoke in the days after the call, Bolton didn’t mention the Ukraine call or the fact Barr’s name has been mentioned.