Bolton and More Bogus Defense Bingo

4 mins read
Former Ambassador John R. Bolton speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

I had the Bogus Defense Bingo card ready for Monday, when the news about Bolton broke, which raises the question: Will this change the defense strategy?

Trump told Bolton in August he wanted to hold the security assistance until Ukraine officials helped with investigations in to the Bidens. There you go,Senate Republicans: another first hand witness.

And Lordy there are notes:

There you go, Senate GOP. Documentary evidence. No surprise, Trump ordered Bolton “and other key officials with first hand knowledge of Trump’s dealings not to cooperate.”

OK, so. Trump orders first hand witnesses not to testify. Trump’s defense lawyers say, “there is no first hand evidence.”

Bolton said there are other “senior cabinet officials” who know more than they’re telling:

More first hand witnesses!

Bolton will testify that Barr lied about how soon he knew about Operation Ukraine Shakedown:

It’s starting to look like the GOP is blocking witnesses to hide how deep the corruption goes. (I typed that is the “ironic understatement” font.)

He has some interesting things to say about Giuliani, too. He has evidence (or will testify that) Giuliani wanted Yovanovitch fired because her fight against corruption was hurting his clients:

Okay, wait. These are the people saying Joe and Hunter Biden are corrupt?

Here’s where things get really crazy.

Wait, what? Trump didn’t want to send assistance to Ukraine until they “turned over all materials they had about the Russian investigation that related to Mr. Biden and supporters of Mrs. Clinton in Ukraine”?

Calling this a ‘conspiracy theory’ is inadequate. This is delusional. I keep thinking of Shakespeare. Trump is like King Lear and Othello rolled into one. And Giuliani is Iago and the jealous sisters stirring the king to madness. Why is Bolton leaking this now?

Apparently the White House knew about the contents of this book for a month, which raises the question of whether Trump’s lawyers stood in the Senate chamber and knowingly told bald-faced lies.

(OK, we knew they were lying. But here’s proof.)

If the Republican Party was anywhere near normal, they’d be planning Trump’s exit strategy. Bolton isn’t the only person with relevant evidence. What was behind all those redactions?

Here’s the thing about these right wing responses:

None of it goes to the question of Trump’s guilt or innocence. Silly that they think “everyone hates Trump” is a defense. People can hate him and he can be guilty, particularly because he governs by bullying and cheating.

I get it: A hallmark of right wing fascism is that they believe they are victims. So “everyone hates Trump,” resonates on the far right wing. Jason Stanley and other scholars who write about fascism explain why they feel victimized. They believe nature forms a hierarchy, and that they belong at the top of the hierarchy. When anyone questions their right to grab whatever they want, and do whatever they want, they feel victimized, like they’re losing something they’re entitled to.

Oh, and here’s the card for today:

You can get yours here.

Originally posted on Musing about Law, Books, and Politics.
Re-posted with permission.


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Teri has written novels, short stories, nonfiction for both young readers and adults, and lots of legal briefs. She is currently working on a book on disinformation to be published by Macmillan Publishers. Her political commentary has appeared on the NBC Think Blog and CNN.com. Her articles and essays have appeared in publications as diverse as Education Week, Slate Magazine, and Scope Magazine. Her short fiction has appeared in the American Literary View, The Iowa Review, and others. For twelve years she maintained a private appellate law practice limited to representing indigents on appeal from adverse rulings. She believes with the ACLU that when the rights of society's most vulnerable members are denied, everybody's rights are imperiled. She also believe with John Updike that the purpose of literature is to expand our sympathies. Teri lives with her family on the beautiful central coast in California.

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