Jun 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Schiff says House Intelligence Committee may pursue Bolton testimony

House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that allegations from John Bolton's new book that President Trump was willing to alter trade policies on China in exchange for help with his re-election bid are a "perfect echo of his misconduct with Ukraine."

Flashback: During the closing arguments of Trump's impeachment trial in February, Schiff — the House's lead impeachment manager — famously said on the Senate floor: "He will not change and you know it. What are the odds if left in office that he will continue trying to cheat? I will tell you: 100%."

The big picture: Revelations from the former national security adviser's book have rocked the White House. Trump tweeted that the book is "made up of lies & fake stories" from a "disgruntled boring fool," and he's suggested that Bolton may be prosecuted for publishing classified information.

  • In addition to corroborating the Ukraine allegations that led to Trump's impeachment, Bolton's book also claimed that Trump encouraged Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2019 to continue building detainment camps for the country's Uighur Muslim minority.
  • “I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my White House tenure that wasn’t driven by re-election calculations,” writes Bolton, who accused House Democrats of committing "impeachment malpractice" by limiting their investigation to Trump's pressure campaign against Ukraine.

What Schiff is saying:

"We warned during the trial that you could only count on Donald Trump to do what's right for him, not what's right for the country. And John Bolton says that is exactly this president's pattern and practice, that he didn't see a significant national foreign policy decision made on any other basis than the president's personal and political re-election interest."
"We made the case when we were urging his testimony in the Senate that the senators would one day have to explain why they didn't want to hear from him when they had the opportunity. Those that haven't run away from the camera have explained — Trump is guilty. They found him guilty, the House proved him guilty, but they weren't prepared to do anything about it."

What to watch: Schiff and other Democrats wanted to see the former Trump adviser testify on Ukraine during impeachment proceedings, but chose not to because a subpoena would have caused a prolonged court battle.

  • Schiff said that he did not regret the decision, but added that his committee may consider pursuing Bolton's testimony once Democrats determine which of his allegations need to be "fleshed out and exposed to the light of day."

Go deeper: Top Democrats express outrage at Bolton allegations, will consult on "next steps"

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