A book written by John Bolton, former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, is causing a mild commotion in the Senate trial of Trump's impeachment case. Its title: "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir". Predictably, one side claims the book is a game changer, the other says it is a nonissue.
The book, allegedly concerning Bolton's time in office under Trump, has been in the works since Bolton's abrupt firing following disagreements over Middle East policy. Conveniently for Democrats, the tome is scheduled to be released soon, but it is not yet available. Leaks have the effect of blood in the water.
The president's legal team, who, from a comportment standpoint are the adults in the room, reject the tease outright. “We deal with transcript evidence, we deal with publicly available information," said Trump personal attorney Jay Sekulow. “We do not deal with speculation, allegations that are not based on evidentiary standards at all."
The timing of the leak is certainly suspect. Given that the prosecution was on its heels after Trump's legal supergroup executed a sober, meticulous dissection of the Democrats' case on Saturday.
As reported by Zero Hedge, the White House official tasked with the pre-publication review of any media produced by former staffers is Yevgeny Vindman, the twin brother of House impeachment hearing witness, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. That the alleged contents of the book were leaked to the New York Times yesterday should surprise precisely no one.
Democrats should be careful what they wish for. As Sean Davis of the Federalist notes, Bolton on the stand could be disastrous--not for Trump, but for the impeachment machine. But Democrats in the House and Senate have lost any sense of gravity (Nancy's souvenir pens), decency (Schiff's paraphrasing and "heads on pikes"), or caution (embracing lowlifes like Parnas and neocon shills like Bolton).
Another take on the leadership of the left, and its collective giddy petulance: they're just desperate. Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler and the rest have continued to grasp at any sign of hope, colluding with media to puff up each witness du jour. Indeed, a pattern has emerged, as noted by Rep. Mark Meadows and others:
The second day of testimony by the defense in the Senate trial is a cool cloth on the fevered public forehead. Jay Sekulow took the role of MC, introducing the agenda and handing off to Ken Starr. This is a different Starr than you might recall from the Clinton impeachment. Calm and scholarly, he lulled the assembled senators and gallery, many of whom were salivating for more Bolton book shenanigans, into a history lesson.
Starr didn't skewer any guts, didn't blacken any eyes. Instead, he introduced much-needed perspective. We live in "the age of impeachment," he opined, and reminded the jurors that the House impeachment didn't meet their own standards, as no Republicans voted to support the two articles.
Next: Mike Purpura, who did a masterful job covering the basics of the interactions between Trump, then-new president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, and their eventual meetings. Purpura was clear and sharp without devolving into anger.
Attorney Jane Raskin followed Purpura, and she took on Trump's association with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. She noted that Giuliani's name was mentioned over 500 times during the House impeachment hearings. Raskin defended Giuliani's work--as a private lawyer to the president. Rudy responded online:
Deputy counsel Patrick Philbin was next. His segment will certainly be ridiculed as boring or dry by liberal media outlets, but it was necessary for the defense to get granular. Philbin, along with Starr, reinforced Saturday's impression that the defense team is meticulous, the serious folks in the room. Crucially, he rejected the prosecution's call for more witnesses on a legal basis. It is not the job of the Senate to build or further the impeachment case; it is their job to hear the House case and try it.
Legal adviser Pam Bondi took on Hunter Biden and Burisma. Media clips and knowing glances flying, hers was the most entertaining segment of the day. She yielded to attorney Eric Herschmann, Trump attorney and former CEO of a natural gas firm (apropos re: Hunter's work). The one-two punch was devastating: scrappy Bondi on the ugliness of the politics of the Biden scandals, and Herschmann providing rigor around the business end, essentially that Hunter could add no value to Burisma.
The helpful diagram below didn't appear in the trial, but perhaps it would help the president's team to shed light on Hunter's comings and goings...that is, if the Democrats get their way and both sides get to call witnesses.
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