Pelosi to Meet With House Committee Chairs Over Bolton Allegations

June 18, 2020 Updated: June 18, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) plans to meet with House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and other chairs about allegations against President Donald Trump from former White House official John Bolton.

“We’ll make a judgment. I’ll be meeting with the chairs to make a judgment,” Pelosi told reporters at a press conference in Washington on June 18.

“We’ll be discussing how the American people are best served by oversight. The public has a right to know.”

Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019, made a number of explosive claims, including that Trump asked Chinese leader Xi Jinping for help getting reelected. That allegation was forcefully denied by another official in the room.

Schiff, who led the impeachment inquiry against the president, said in a statement that “we will be consulting with the Speaker and other chairs on next steps” in the coming days.

Bolton’s testimony was sought during the inquiry, which took place in 2019, but House Democrats never issued a subpoena for him to testify.

Bolton’s book is slated for release on June 23, but sections have been published in various media outlets. The White House is trying to block the book’s publication, asserting it contains classified information.

john bolton
Former national security adviser John Bolton leaves his home in Bethesda, Md., on Jan. 28, 2020. (Luis M. Alvarez/AP Photo)

Even while promoting the allegations, Democrats have criticized Bolton himself. Pelosi called him “arrogant,” alleging he “chose loyalty over patriotism” by refusing to voluntarily testify to Congress.

Bolton said in 2019 that he would testify to the Senate if subpoenaed. Senators declined to do so, saying it was the House’s job to investigate allegations against Trump.

Pelosi charged that Bolton “is trying to keep the con going with the right-wing of the Republican Party by criticizing us for not subpoenaing him when he said he wouldn’t come in.”

She doesn’t plan on buying his book.

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), another key player in the impeachment inquiry, said in a statement that Bolton’s claim concerning Xi, if accurate, “was an abuse of American foreign and national security policy.”

He also targeted Bolton, saying: “What we’ve just learned makes it even more difficult to understand why Ambassador Bolton did not testify during the House’s impeachment inquiry.

“I will be consulting with the Speaker and my fellow chairs on next steps in this matter.”

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