Former Republican South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy criticized former National Security Advisor John Bolton for hawking his book after refusing to testify in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
Gowdy spoke with Fox News host Martha MacCallum about Bolton’s book Tuesday after it was leaked to the New York Times. (RELATED: ‘My Mistake Was Relying On The Word Of The FBI’: Trey Gowdy Explains What He Did Wrong In Russia Probe)
“Hot off the presses, brand-new excerpts from John Bolton’s book released tonight ahead of its publication on June 23rd,” MacCallum began. “In them, he accuses the president of abusing his power and soliciting help from China for the upcoming election. John Bolton describing a meeting with President XI last June, writing this. ‘Trump said approvingly that there was great hostility to China among the Democrats. He then stunningly turned the conversation to the coming U.S. Presidential election, pleading with XI to ensure that he would a win. I would print Trump’s exact words,’ he writes, ‘but the government’s pre-prepublication review process decided otherwise.”
United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who was in the room when that conversation allegedly occurred, said that the quote is “absolutely untrue.”
“So obviously, you know, this process has been I’m sure are good for book sales but how damning are the quotes in this book that you’ve seen so far?” MacCallum turned the question to Gowdy.
“John Bolton’s argument now is that Trump is unfit for office and should be removed, that he’s committed high crimes and misdemeanors,” Gowdy replied. “Now, he had a chance to go before the House, he didn’t do it. He had a chance to go before the Senate, he didn’t do it. He had a chance to come on your show or some other host’s show and answer tough questions, but no, for $29.95, he’s going to save you from this existential threat to our republic. I think people are smart enough to know, Bolton, if you really think he’s unfit to be the leader of the free world, why didn’t you say anything? Why do I have to buy your book to get that?”
Gowdy went on to note that Bolton still wasn’t opening himself up to scrutiny of cross-examination, he was just putting his book out there for public consumption.
“He ain’t being cross-examined, he’s sitting in his pajamas pecking away on his iPad. The power of cross-examination is you actually have to withstand the cauldron, I mean, withstand the heat of being questioned on it, I mean anybody can write a book and make assertions,” Gowdy explained. “Can you answer questions under cross-examination from the House or the Senate? Apparently he couldn’t, ’cause he didn’t.”
MacCallum pointed out the fact that even the lead House Impeachment Manager Adam Schiff, who had wanted Bolton to testify, had been unimpressed by his willingness to publish a book but not aid in the impeachment process. “Bolton may be an author but he’s no patriot,” Schiff said.
Bolton’s staff were asked to testify before the House to Trump’s abuses, and did. They had a lot to lose and showed real courage.
When Bolton was asked, he refused, and said he’d sue if subpoenaed. Instead, he saved it for a book.
Bolton may be an author, but he’s no patriot.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 17, 2020
Gowdy concluded by pointing out the fact that if Bolton had included classified information in the book — as the White House has alleged that he did — that was a criminal offense. “Disseminating classified information is a crime and if no one is above the law I assume that includes him,” he said.
MacCallum thanked Gowdy for his time and noted that all the attention, whether positive or negative, could ultimately help drive attention to Bolton’s book.
“I’m gonna buy your book before I buy his,” Gowdy laughed.