January 29, 2020

Did John Bolton actually do Trump a favor?
A funny thing happened in the impeachment trial of President Trump. Thanks to revelations regarding Trump and Ukraine from former National Security Adviser John Bolton, the trial went from being a speedy, all-but-certain path to acquittal to a potentially lengthy quagmire. But the timing of the Bolton bombshell might actually benefit Trump and Senate Republicans by preventing another round of impeachment, and allowing the GOP to dispose of this issue for good.Trump's legal team had just taken over the dais in the Senate impeachment trial, speaking to a Republican caucus ready for a quick acquittal. Democrats demanded testimony from Bolton, a move that Republicans had largely united to oppose. It appeared that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's argument that the Senate should not have to reopen the House investigation for impeachment would carry the day.And then, Bolton testified anyway — albeit indirectly.The New York Times published leaks from "multiple people" who had read the final draft of Bolton's memoir, which is still under review by the National Security Council to protect any classified information that might have been included. Those sources told the Times and later The Washington Post that Bolton declared that Trump had demanded Ukraine conduct an investigation of the Bidens in exchange for congressionally appropriated military aid. The account appeared to rebut Trump's oft-repeated denial of demanding a quid pro quo for aid Congress had already approved and Trump had signed into law. Furthermore, Bolton's account reportedly contradicted earlier denials from both Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Attorney General William Barr.Suddenly, Democratic House impeachment managers who had just concluded their presentation to the Senate saw an opening to increase pressure for subpoenas, especially for Bolton. Some Senate Republicans seemed open to the idea as well, worried about how it would look to have Bolton's account made public without consideration at the trial. McConnell's unity appeared to fray in the first 48 hours after the leak as GOP moderates talked about cutting deals for a witness trade.Others, especially Trump, pushed back hard against the leak. Trump went on Twitter almost immediately to emphatically deny the description of Bolton's account, accusing Bolton of cooking it up to "sell a book." Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani called Bolton "John the Backstabber" while insisting the account was false. The RNC amplified Trump's charge by questioning the timing in a statement noting "how convenient" it was that the leak came "at the same time preorders" on Amazon could first be placed. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham picked up on the timing argument, calling it "very, very suspect" that the revelations came just after Trump's defense team had begun its presentation.The timing is notable, but not necessarily because it handicaps Trump.Bear in mind that the publication date for Bolton's memoir was in less than two months. The certainty that Bolton would speak out by mid-March one way or the other put Senate Republicans in an extremely uncomfortable position. If they voted to acquit Trump without knowing what Bolton had to say, the outcome would be widely seen as illegitimate. It might have even pushed House Democrats to vote a new article of impeachment on the basis of Bolton's memoir and force the Senate back into a trial, but at the very least it would have made for campaign fodder against vulnerable Senate Republican incumbents this fall.Now, however, the leak lets Republicans off the hook, even if still leaves Trump on it. Trump may not have told the truth in his outright denials on the quid pro quo allegation, but at least Senate Republicans now know that for certain. The New York Times leak put the worst possible conclusion from Bolton where they can openly consider it and then still move to the alternate argument. After all, as former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy writes at National Review, there is no need to deny the quid pro quo because it's a moot point — the aid went without strings attached in the end, and it didn't rise to the "high crimes and misdemeanors" bar anyway.Trump's legal team subtly shifted its presentation to emphasize this point after the leak. Alan Dershowitz told the Senate on Monday that a "quid pro quo alone is not a basis for abuse of power … based on mixed or sole motives." In fact, Dershowitz said, "nothing in the Bolton revelations — even if true — would rise to the level of an abuse of power." Trump's denials of that might cast him in a poor political light if one believes Bolton, but that, Dershowitz argued, is an issue for elections. "Let the public decide," Dershowitz concluded.Republicans appear to have made this calculation as well. Politico reported late Tuesday that calm had returned to the caucus after a brief period of panic. A late meeting after the early conclusion of the president's case had produced a solid consensus that "we've heard enough," third-ranking caucus leader Sen. John Barasso told reporters. "The articles don't rise to the level of impeachable offenses," not even with the Bolton account apparently out in the open. The votes to acquit without witnesses aren't confirmed, but at the end of the day, the big question isn't whether a handful of Republicans would vote with Democrats for a Bolton subpoena. It's how many Democrats might cross the aisle to join the acquittal that everyone knows is coming anyway. If Trump gets a bipartisan vote to acquit, he might just have Bolton to thank for it.Want more essential commentary and analysis like this delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for The Week's "Today's best articles" newsletter here.More stories from theweek.com Mitch McConnell's rare blunder John Bolton just vindicated Nancy Pelosi 7 witheringly funny cartoons about the GOP's John Bolton problem
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
7 Questions with 'Wild Irish Thyme' Star Jamie Dornan
November 25, 2020
bqZLJEd8Gxs
Why 'Selena' star Christian Serratos Chose to Lip-Sync Selena's Songs
November 25, 2020
FNz_Pal3qeo
'Time' Director Garrett Bradley on Covering Incarceration, Why Black Family Archives Are Important
November 23, 2020
m7j3n7dPFOI
Interim ‘Jeopardy!’ host Ken Jennings slammed for wheelchair tweet | Page Six Celebrity News
November 25, 2020
GF8JOA07ZpI
The one with the cast of 'Friends', then and now | Page Six Celebrity News
November 25, 2020
FLlqmbxCjnI
Bill Murray’s brother Ed, inspiration behind ‘Caddyshack,’ dies | Page Six Celebrity News
November 25, 2020
VEzPd5ot58g
Tracy Morgan Hands Out Turkeys to Long Line of New Yorkers | TMZ
November 24, 2020
BW7UB1bkvxI
Chris Hemsworth Working On Body, Chris Pratt Pokes Fun | TMZ TV
November 24, 2020
2giqjWteb4Y
Kamala, Jill Should Pick American Designer For Inaugural Ball Dress, Michael Costello Says
November 22, 2020
cGsraoPqUzM
Shawn Mendes' Best Bits From "In Wonder" Documentary | E! News
November 26, 2020
N8DORRu86Gg
Cheerleading From Home, Piercing Problems & Scream Hotline
November 26, 2020
Q_92CTPGcGc
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Favorite Moments | Daily Pop | E! News
November 26, 2020
KT5MQSUWzJE
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
25
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Swansea City - Sheffield Wednesday
25
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Middlesbrough - Derby County
25
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Bristol City - Watford
25
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Coventry - Cardiff City
25
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Millwall - Reading
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
QPR - Rotherham
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Stoke City - Norwich City
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Nottingham Forest
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Preston NE - Blackburn
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Luton - Birmingham
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Wycombe Wanderers - Huddersfield
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Barnsley - Brentford
23
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Southampton
23
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Real Betis
23
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Burnley - Crystal Palace
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - AC Milan
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Leicester City
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Arsenal
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Torino
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Parma
22
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Koln - Union Berlin
22
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Alaves - Valencia
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Sheffield United - West Ham United
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Genoa
22
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Granada CF - Real Valladolid
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Verona - Sassuolo
22
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Cadiz - Real Sociedad
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Sampdoria - Bologna
22
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
SC Freiburg - Mainz
22
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Eibar - Getafe
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Everton
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Fiorentina - Benevento
21
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Barcelona
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Manchester City
21
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Hertha Berlin - Borussia Dortmund
21
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayern Munich - Werder Bremen
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Chelsea
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - West Bromwich Albion
21
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Cagliari
21
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Villarreal - Real Madrid
21
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Eintracht Frankfurt - RB Leipzig
21
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Celta Vigo
21
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Spezia - Atalanta
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.