George Conway explains the 'fateful misjudgment' John Bolton made

George Conway explains the 'fateful misjudgment' John Bolton made
White House National Security Advisor Ambassador John Bolton talks to reporters Wednesday, May 1, 2019, outside the West Wing entrance of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

Former national security adviser John Bolton made a mistake he didn’t think about.


While many are boycotting the purchase of his upcoming book because he refused to testify to the illegal behavior of his former boss, President Donald Trump, according to Republican lawyer George Conway, that isn’t the mistake.

“Imagine the book Bolton could have written had he testified,” suggested Conway in a Washington Post column.

The Lincoln Project co-founder explained that not only could Bolton have explained what all Trump did that was unethical or illegal, but he could have marketed his book off of his patriotic move of stepping forward to protect the United States.

“He might have changed history — and could have told that story firsthand,” wrote Conway. “That would have been a blockbuster for the ages. John Dean’s Blind Ambition spent six months on the New York Times bestseller list, and copies of its 40th-anniversary edition remain available for purchase. Had Bolton been motivated purely by profit or even simple self-aggrandizement, he could have maximized both by testifying.”

Conway said he has no idea why Bolton didn’t make such a move.

“It wasn’t because Bolton feared Trump; he plainly does not,” the editorial explained. “The promotional materials for his book, which tell us Bolton is perfectly happy to brand Trump an unfit, self-absorbed menace to America’s security, make that clear.”

Bolton didn’t care about helping Trump, much less helping Democrats, or spiting them. He clearly can’t stand Trump and burned any bridges to the administration that he would have had.

“And had Bolton’s testimony led to a Senate conviction, the result, of course, would have been … President Pence. Republicans would have been better off,” he wrote. “Nor did fear of legal consequences keep Bolton mute. He obviously doesn’t think that Trump has any power to keep him from telling his story, under oath or otherwise; he’s publishing his book even though he hasn’t received clearance from the government. That means he doesn’t think anything he has to say is legitimately classified or subject to executive privilege, which in turn means he could have testified to it all six months ago. And even if he left some classified details out of the book, he could have testified about them behind closed doors.”

The only reason that Conway can think of that Bolton would have done it this way is that he does expect to be called before Congress after his book is published. Bolton essentially forced Congress to make him testify, but it didn’t work. So he tried leaking little bits of key information that normally would have brought him as a witness. That didn’t work either; Republicans chose the “ignorance is bliss” philosophy.

“Bolton made one fateful misjudgment. He overestimated the character, honor and patriotism of Senate Republicans,” said Conway. But Bolton was wrong.

“For that miscalculation, both he and the nation — but especially the nation — have paid a great price,” he closed.

Read the full editorial at the Washington Post.

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