During his interview with ABC News, aired on Sunday night, host Martha Raddatz asked the question many have been wondering about. Despite being a star witness for the president’s impeachment trial, Bolton opted not to testify and seem to withhold the information for the release of his book.
Raddatz asked why Bolton previously “felt no obligation” to testify and share the truth with the American people.
“You were a star witness to something the president was on trial for,” Raddatz said to Bolton, “Something you say you now find deeply disturbing, possibly criminal. Yet, you felt no obligation at all to tell the American people about this? Whether in testimony on the Hill or an interview or a statement or anything?”
In response to Raddatz, Bolton defended his decision not to testify.
“It would not have made a difference,” Bolton said, “Because minds were made up on Capitol Hill. And my feeling was in the midst of this chaos that had been created, this would have come and gone and no one would have paid attention to it.
See Bolton’s remarks below:
"Minds were made up on Capitol Hill."— ABC News (@ABC) June 22, 2020
John Bolton defends his decision not to testify during the impeachment trial, telling @martharaddatz, "It would not have made a difference." https://t.co/jiL4cpAnp7 pic.twitter.com/P3z87I43AM
While he claimed he was “fully prepared” to testify, the decision was contingent on him receiving a subpoena.
Bolton also criticized House Democratic leaders as he insisted they committed “impeachment malpractice” due to being “very narrowly focused” on Ukraine.
“The only way to win an impeachment would have been to get Republicans to go along,” he said, “And the Democrats abandoned that idea almost before they got started.”
As Raddatz notes, Bolton see the impeachment inquiry was “too narrow.” However, Bolton continued to defend his stance.
“They had a strategy that suited their political objectives. And it’s not my obligation to help the Democrats out of their own problem. My judgment was that I was prepared to testify,” Bolton said.
He added, “But I think now this is actually a better time to tell the story. Because now the American people can look at it in the context of the most important political decision we make as a nation every four years.”