John Bolton Tipped Off House Chairman On Yovanovitch Firing

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel said that John Bolton implied to him in September that he needed to investigate the firing of Marie Yovanovitch.

Chairman Engel said in a statement:

President Trump is wrong that John Bolton didn’t say anything about the Trump-Ukraine Scandal at the time the President fired him. He said something to me.

On September 19, shortly after Ambassador Bolton’s departure as national security advisor, my staff reached out to him at my request. I’ve known Ambassador Bolton for years; we have a cordial and respectful relationship and I wanted to thank him for his service. I also wanted to ask if he would talk to the Foreign Affairs Committee, as former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did, to aid our general oversight efforts of U.S. foreign policy.

He and I spoke by telephone on September 23. On that call, Ambassador Bolton suggested to me—unprompted—that the committee look into the recall of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. He strongly implied that something improper had occurred around her removal as our top diplomat in Kyiv.

At the time, I said nothing publicly about what was a private conversation, but because this detail was relevant to the Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight Committees’ investigation into this matter, I informed my investigative colleagues. It was one of the reasons we wished to hear from Ambassador Bolton, under oath, in a formal setting.

Ambassador Bolton has made clear over the last few months that he has more to say on this issue. And now that the President has called his credibility into question, it’s important to set the record straight.

It’s telling that, of all people, John Bolton is now the target of right-wing ire. It underscores just how important it is that the Senate subpoena Ambassador Bolton as a witness.

Bolton has been sounding the alarm on Trump’s illegal activities involving Ukraine for months. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Bolton in terms of policy, it is clear that he is the rare Trump administration official who placed the good of the country and national security ahead of Trump’s scheme to extort Ukraine and rig the 2020 election.

Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans want the impeachment trial over right now because every day is bringing a new revelation that confirms the guilt of Donald Trump.

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