On Monday, radio and TV host Mark Levin issued a barrage of tweets regarding The New York Times article with excerpts from former national security advisor John Bolton’s new book, excerpts which prompted much hand-wringing among some GOP senators about calling new witnesses in the Senate impeachment trail targeting President Trump. Levin stomped on the Times, Bolton, and the GOP senators who seem to be considering capitulating to Democrats’ demands that witnesses be called who did not testify in the House impeachment trial.
Levin began by cutting directly to the heart of the matter:
If every word of this New York Times story is true, which I doubt as it’s another politically timed leak, how does this change anything? As a matter of FACT, there was no quid pro quo. And there’s still no evidence to the contrary.
Then he segued to Bolton’s stated outrage that excerpts from the upcoming book had been leaked:
Let me get this straight. John Bolton and his lawyer Chuck Cooper submitted the book manuscript to the NSC for review, which is notoriously known for leaking, on the eve of the impeachment trial, and they’re now surprised about a cherry-picked leak?We are left with a politically-motivated, last-minute, cherry-picked leak from anonymous sources to the Trump-hating New York Times. And now the media attention is focused on the Democrat demands, in hopes of turning a handful of Republicans susceptible to these tactics to join the Democrats in a call for witnesses — which, of course, the House Democrats opposed during their impeachment inquiry.
Levin bluntly predicted, “If the GOP falls for this they’ll lose the Senate.” He reiterated, “Focus on the case the president’s lawyers are finally able to make. This leak to the New York Times is intended to change the narrative. The Democrats still have no case. FACT: there was no quid pro quo.”
Then Levin shifted to the Times and its alleged manipulation of the story: “I notice the NY Times article, despite its length, cleverly omits any direct quotes from the Bolton manuscript. Instead, it appears to rely on cherry-picked descriptions. Is the newspaper relying solely on sources or has it received a copy of the manuscript in whole or part?
And as for the sources, who benefits from this? The public needs to know who’s leaking so we can make a judgment about their credibility. Who benefits? The publisher, Bolton, the Democrats, and the Trump-haters burrowed in at the White House.”
Levin pointed out, “What strikes me is that not a single person has alleged what Bolton has said to allege or corroborated it. And the New York Times doesn’t cite any. The Times dismisses top officials, like Pompeo, Mulvaney, and Barr, who contradict what the article alleges.The article is a hodgepodge of cherry-picked leaks from anonymous sources, inferences, etc. intended to drive the Democrat narrative during the impeachment trial.”
A brief digression on the ethical implications of Bolton’s book:
By the way, having served at the highest levels of government in the Reagan administration, I’ve never written a book and would never write a book about my interactions or disagreements with colleagues and superiors, let alone the president.On a daily basis, there are robust and passionate discussions about policy, etc., in every administration. Publishers pay big bucks for these kinds of books. And often the author is disgruntled and self-serving in their narrative and trying to settle scores. Bolton’s book was obviously timed for maximum impact & sales. Having written 8 books, I can tell you that it’s extraordinary that an author could complete a book in about 2 months and the publisher release it in 3-4 months.
Levin surmised as to the various actions Bolton had undertaken:
In approximately 6 months since departing the White House, Bolton’s book will be in bookstores. And now the litigation strategy makes sense. First, he went to court to seek a judge’s opinion on whether he could testify in the House.Then, he does an about face, announcing through counsel that he’s available to testify should the Senate ask him. Therefore, he sought to delay any testimony while still writing his book, but after he completed it — submitted it for NSC review, he became available for the trial. And he became available because he knew he’d be criticized for holding back his allegations until the book’s release. Moreover, the strategy also maximizes publicity for the book.
He continued, “Having trashed Bolton throughout his career, including blocking his confirmation as ambassador to the UN, the Democrats now love Bolton. His testimony is crucial (except in the House).”
Then Levin turned to the GOP senators considering a capitulation to the Democrats:
Well, of course, Romney and Collins want Bolton to testify. They always have. The NY Times piece is aimed at the usual 4-6 Republicans who are constantly trying to make nice with the media & some of whom face tough re-election races. But none of it had anything to do with impeachable offenses. And if they’re defeated in November, it’ll be due, in significant part, to their own political miscalculations today. I would ask them, however, to list the other witnesses they wish to hear. So far, they’ve not. We’d like to know.
He noted, “Furthermore, the Democrats don’t want to hear from all witnesses. They want to pick the witnesses and none others. This is exactly what they did in the House. Is that how a ‘trial’ works? Prosecutors get to determine all trial witnesses? Plus, they get witnesses they passed over in the House? The Democrats continue pushing the Stalinist system, and Romney, Collins, et al, are apparently all for it. They’re being played for fools.”
Levin concluded, “This is all idiotic. For those former federal prosecutors who keep saying you can’t have a trial without witnesses, this isn’t a courtroom. The rules of evidence don’t apply. The jury is not selected through some objective process.There’s no preponderance of evidence or beyond a reasonable doubt standard. And THIS trial is to be based on the information gathered by the House Democrats and used to cast votes in the House. This isn’t a prospective process. We all know what’s happening here. It’s a sham.”