One of the big questions for Thursday is this: Will former national security adviser John Bolton show up to testify in the House impeachment inquiry? Previous testimony has made it very clear that Bolton was unhappy with Donald Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to deliver a bogus investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. But Bolton is also an extremely partisan Republican with a lot to lose from turning against Trump. So … what will he do?
“Bolton still wants to be a player in GOP politics and Trump still has such high approval ratings,” a “source close to Bolton” told CNN. “So far, he has tried to walk that tightrope. I expect he will continue to do that.” After all, if Bolton got off the tightrope and was honest about his unhappiness with Trump, he might jeopardize donations to his super PAC, which in turn would jeopardize his ability to give large donations to far-right candidates, which would directly impact his future influence in the party.
Bolton has indicated he wouldn’t comply with a simple request to testify, but it’s been less clear if he would fight a subpoena. If he does show up, CNN’s “source close to Bolton” says to expect him to avoid pointing a finger at Trump, instead pointing them at everyone around Trump. “He will say that Giuliani, Mulvaney and Sondland, to a degree, were being disloyal to the president,” said the source. “John will say, ‘I was the guardrail while Giuliani and Mulvaney were saying let Trump be Trump.’” (Gee, does it sound like Bolton is using CNN to send a message to House investigators that they don’t really want to put him in the position of having to talk to them?)
With Bolton’s deposition scheduled for Thursday morning, we’ll know soon enough.