House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) announced that his panel and other House panels may call in former White House adviser John Bolton to testify after he made allegations about President Donald Trump’s conduct in a forthcoming memoir.
“Like the rest of the country, we will look at what allegations like those involving Turkey and other countries, particularly involving China, need to be fleshed out and exposed to the light of day and then we’ll make our decisions,” Schiff told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Schiff was likely referring to a claim in Bolton’s book, “The Room Where It Happened,” in which Bolton alleged that Trump asked Chinese leader Xi Jinping for help in winning reelection. On Sunday, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told CNN that Bolton’s assertion is false, adding that “I never heard that” and “I was in the room.” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer last week made a similar remark to Navarro’s and rejected Bolton’s comment.
Schiff, who served as the primary architect of Trump’s impeachment several months ago, said that he is consulting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic committee leaders about whether Bolton should provide testimony.
The Democratic lawmaker said that he wouldn’t have Bolton wait until after the November election. Bolton didn’t testify during the House impeachment inquiry.
“I don’t think we should wait if we conclude that there are important things that he says that need to be exposed to the public. The public needs to know exactly what they have in this president,” Schiff told the broadcaster. “A lot of it is not a surprise … Congress can take steps to protect the country.”
Schiff asserted that Bolton “indict[ed] himself for cowardice and for greed” by not coming forward with his allegations during the impeachment inquiry or trial, and instead, published them in a book. “Bolton might damage the presidency or he might violate his own oath and that’s why he needed to go to court. But apparently those things have given away to a book deal,” Schiff added.
In his interview, Navarro said Bolton should face consequences for making the allegations, including potentially receiving time in prison.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week accused Bolton of violating his “obligation to return classified notes to the White House.”
The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to halt the publication of Bolton’s book, which has already been printed. Advance copies have been sent to media outlets.
Trump, meanwhile, wrote that Bolton’s book is “a compilation of lies and made up stories, all intended to make me look bad.”
The CEO of Simon & Schuster, in a statement this week, told CNN that Bolton’s portrayal of Trump is “of utmost public importance.” The book will be released June 23.