05/10/2020

Democrats want to make former National Security Adviser John R. Bolton their star impeachment witness against President Trump, but years ago senators named Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Richard Durbin characterized Mr. Bolton as …

Democrats want to make former National Security Adviser John R. Bolton their star impeachment witness against President Trump, but years ago senators named Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Richard Durbin characterized Mr. Bolton as a liar.
In 2005, Mr. Bolton was nominated by Republican President George W. Bush to become ambassador to the United Nations. And Senate Democrats mounted fierce opposition that eventually denied him a vote.
Mr. Biden, then a top member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a hearing that Mr. Bolton “repeatedly made misleading, disingenuous or nonresponsive statements to this committee. … He doesn’t like to hear dissent. He doesn’t like to follow rules. He’s a bad manager of people. He can’t see the forest for the trees. And he mischaracterizes the views of his colleagues.”
Thirty-six Senate Democrats signed a letter to Mr. Bush urging him not to make a recess appointment of Mr. Bolton at the U.N., saying “he was not truthful” on a Senate questionnaire. Among those signing the letter were Mr. Biden, Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Durbin and Mr. Schumer, now the Senate minority leader from New York.
Mr. Durbin said of Mr. Bolton at the time, “he has brow-beaten intelligence analysts who would not doctor their findings to suit his political preferences; and he dangerously inflated assessments of weapons of mass destruction.”
After Mr. Bush did use a recess appointment for Mr. Bolton, Mr. Biden wrote the president to object on Aug. 1, 2005.
“Mr. Bolton does not have the full confidence of the U.S. Senate,” Mr. Biden wrote. “We know that John Bolton repeatedly tried to stretch intelligence and to remove intelligence analysts who disagreed with him. We know he was not fully forthcoming during the confirmation process.”
He cited Mr. Bolton’s admission that he failed to disclose key information about having been interviewed by an inspector general regarding intelligence failures in Iraq during his tenure in the State Department.
“We need someone who has credibility with the international community and Americans can trust. That is not John Bolton,” Mr. Biden wrote.
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