President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton believes the U.S. House of Representatives committed “impeachment malpractice.”
Bolton’s remarks Wednesday at Vanderbilt University received criticism from another former adviser, Susan Rice.
In a conversation about global leadership with Rice, Bolton said he was ready to testify during the House impeachment inquiry but that he was never subpoenaed.
He says that the way Democrats handled impeachment “almost guaranteed” an acquittal.
“They made a mess of it,” Bolton said, adding that the process might have pushed Republicans away from voting for impeachment “because it was so partisan.”
Recording audio of the event was prohibited and video was only allowed for the first 3 minutes.
His comments were received with some boos.
Bolton said he thinks that his testimony was not going to be enough to influence senators anyway.
“People can argue about what I should’ve said, what I should’ve done,” Bolton said. “I will bet you a dollar right here and now my testimony would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome.”
But President Barack Obama’s former national security adviser, Susan Rice, disagrees.
She says she finds it “inconceivable” to not talk publicly if she had direct knowledge of what she calls “gross abuse of presidential powers.”
”I can’t imagine withholding my testimony with or without subpoena,” Rice said. “I also can’t imagine, frankly, in the absence of being able to provide that information directly to congress, not having exercised my First Amendment right to speak publicly at a time when my testimony or my experience would be relevant.”
But Bolton says he’s now ready to tell the whole story in his new book, which is awaiting pre-clearance by the White House.