Report: John Bolton Has Been A Whistleblower Since At Least September
Not long after former National Security Adviser John Bolton was tossed from the White House, he spoke with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) suggesting that something was amiss with U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s ouster from her Ukraine post — and urging the committee to investigate.
Engel divulged details of the phone call on Wednesday in response to President Donald Trump’s Twitter attacks on Bolton’s credibility.
The Democrat wrote in a statement: “President Trump is wrong that John Bolton didn’t say anything about the Trump-Ukraine Scandal at the time the President fired him. He said something to me.”
Engel went on to say that the two spoke on the phone on September 23, at which time “Ambassador Bolton suggested to me—unprompted—that the committee look into the recall of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.”
Bolton “strongly implied that something improper had occurred around her removal as our top diplomat in Kyiv,” Engel continued. He also urged the Senate to call Bolton as a witness in Trump’s impeachment trial, given that “Ambassador Bolton has made clear over the last few months that he has more to say on this issue.”
TPM’s Josh Marshall noted that less than a week before the Bolton/Engel phone call, the first reports emerged confirming a whistleblower complaint over the matter — which had not yet been shared with Congress. The Washington Post wrote on September 18:
The whistleblower complaint that has triggered a tense showdown between the U.S. intelligence community and Congress involves President Trump’s communications with a foreign leader, according to two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter. [emphasis added]
Marshall noted that speculation abounded at the time over the identity of the two former officials, with Bolton being considered a likely candidate.
“The fact that he had this conversation with Engel on September 23rd makes that supposition much more likely,” Marshall wrote. “We don’t know he was one of the Post’s sources. But this news really confirms what has long been suspected without public proof: that Bolton has had a clear hand driving this whole scandal forward from the beginning. Or at least since his ouster or resignation on September 10th.”