In another leaked excerpt of John Bolton’s forthcoming book, the former national security adviser writes that it was months before the now infamous July 25th call that Donald Trump asked Bolton for help with his pressure campaign on Ukraine. The New York Times reports:
“Mr. Trump gave the instruction, Mr. Bolton wrote, during an Oval Office conversation in early May that included the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, who is now leading the president’s impeachment defense.
“Mr. Trump told Mr. Bolton to call Volodymyr Zelensky, who had recently won election as president of Ukraine, to ensure Mr. Zelensky would meet with Mr. Giuliani, who was planning a trip to Ukraine to discuss the investigations that the president sought, in Mr. Bolton’s account. Mr. Bolton never made the call, he wrote.“
The Times calls it the “earliest known instance” of Trump attempting to pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political rival.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on Friday on whether to allow witnesses. As of now, the vote would appear to be in the Republicans favor for no additional witnesses.
The Times reports that in the book, Bolton laid out Trump’s fixation with Ukraine and how the president believes it tried to undermine his 2016 victory.