Former National Security Adviser John Bolton is scheduled to give a deposition to the House impeachment inquiry committee on Thursday, November 7, and while his attorney has indicted that Bolton won’t voluntarily speak to the committee, he will obey a subpoena and show up to answer any questions the committee may have.
Bolton’s testimony could well wind up being a major turning point in the Ukraine scandal which has led to Trump to the verge of being charged with articles of impeachment, and conservative columnist Bret Stephens of the New York Times believes the facts Bolton can lay out about what he called a “drug deal” regarding the quid pro quo the president suggested when he spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky could well destroy Trump, writing:
“The suppurating disgust even pliant conservatives like Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham feel at Trump’s cavalier betrayal of the Kurds … could motivate John Bolton (a born-again Never Trumper, along with John Kelly, Rex Tillerson, H.R. McMaster, Anthony Scaramucci and everyone else who made the mistake of working for this president) to deliver what may yet be the most devastating insider’s indictment of the president’s shameless shadow foreign policy.”
While Trump continues to brag that he has the full support of the GOP, recent poll numbers show otherwise, Stephens continues. All is not well for the president:
“A new poll finds Trump’s support among Republicans at 74 percent — an eight-point decline since September and the lowest since he was elected. Nearly one in five Republicans support impeachment and removal. So do 47 percent of independents. These numbers will not move in Trump’s favor if the truth about his ‘drug deals’ (to borrow Bolton’s phrase) continues to come to light.”
Stephens doesn’t believe that 20 Republicans in the U.S. Senate will cross over and agree to vote with Democrats to convict Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors, no matter what charges are leveled against the president. But Trump’s chances of winning a second term in office would likely be greatly diminished if just four key senators vote with the Democrats:
“Trump knows that the number needed to spell his moral defeat on impeachment is four. If Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and one other Republican join the Democrats to convict, the political humiliation will be thunderous. And, as my colleague David Leonhardt has convinced me, it could devastate his re-election chances. If the administration thinks impeachment is such a political winner, they wouldn’t be fighting it this hard.”
The White House will likely try to block Bolton from giving a deposition. But that delay will only be temporary, and the effect of what Bolton has to say will be magnified when public hearings begin later this month and the courts have ruled that all witnesses are required to tell what they know, despite the administration’s claims of executive privilege.
Donald Trump’s remaining days in office are running out. Whether he’s convicted in the Senate or not, the damage from impeachment is going to leave a lasting stain on the already sullied name of Donald J. Trump.