Witnesses would not pose national security risks

Former national security adviser John Bolton at the White House  in Washington on Jan. 28, 2019.



When it comes to blocking witnesses from testifying and keeping evidence out of the public view, President Donald Trump and his defense team have used every tool they’ve got. One of their top rationales is national security.

According to this line of argument, which is meant to scare Senate Republicans out of caving, allowing testimony from witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton could jeopardize national security. Trump himself argued last week that Bolton’s testimony posed a national security risk.

“He knows some of my thoughts. He knows what I think about leaders. What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader and it’s not very positive?” Trump said. The president also added that Bolton’s departure in September wasn’t exactly amicable, “so you don’t like people testifying when they didn’t leave on good terms.” 

And that was before the New York Times obtained a description of Bolton’s book and reported that Trump told Bolton directly that he wanted Ukraine military aid withheld unless Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced investigations into political opponents, including the Bidens.


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