Monday, January 27, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He lied about John Bolton's potential testimony.

Trump didn't get much sleep last night, to judge from his late-night and early-morning tweets, which were on the subject of John Bolton, his former national security advisor. Bolton is, by his own account, a witness to Trump explicitly tying anti-Russia military aid to Ukraine to that government announcing an "investigation" into Joe Biden. 

This morning, Trump tweeted this:

The House did ask Bolton to testify, and set up an appointment for him to do so. Trump himself ordered that Bolton and other executive branch officials not testify. Bolton then said that, if the House subpoenaed him, he would ask a court to decide whether he should obey the summons or not—a legal process that would still be underway long after the actual trial currently taking place in the Senate would be over.

Even if Trump's version were true, though, there is no reason that Bolton couldn't testify now. It is "up to" the Senate to conduct the trial as it sees fit. Trump, like any defendant, doesn't get to tell the court how to try him.

The overwhelming majority of Americans want evidence Trump has withheld and witnesses, like Bolton, that he has blocked from testifying to appear at his Senate trial. This is an even higher number than the roughly half of Americans who already support Trump's removal from office for his abuse of power and cover-up.

Why should I care about this?

  • It's wrong for presidents to lie to the American people.
  • Innocent people do not try to block witnesses to their "perfect" behavior.