Sep 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Michael Schmidt: Private eye rummaged Bolton's trash for book drafts

Mike Allen

Here's a juicy nugget near the end of the new book by New York Times scoop machine Michael Schmidt, "Donald Trump v. The United States."

What's happening: It's about the scramble during impeachment to learn what was in former national security adviser John Bolton's manuscript of his White House memoir, "The Room Where It Happened." Schmidt writes:

"I received a call from a man I had never heard of. He said that several years earlier he had sat next to my father on a train and he had followed my work. The man said that he worked as a private investigator of sorts in the Washington area and he had been trying to figure out what Bolton had written in his book. A friend had told him at a Rotary Club meeting that Bolton was taking sections of his book and sending them out to friends to review and comment on.The friends were then mailing them back to him, and he was throwing them in his trash. Bolton had apparently done this because he did not want to create an electronic record of his correspondences. The man said that he had been scouting Bolton's wife's office and their house on the nights he put his trash out. After Bolton moved the trash onto the street, he went through it. ... [H]e said ... Thursday morning was trash pickup day in Bolton's neighborhood. I made sure not to tell him whether he should go through the trash again. I knew that what he wanted to do was likely legal, but the idea of the Times aligning ourselves with a private eye was potentially troublesome."

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