The Trump White House is trying to stop former national security adviser John Bolton’s book from being published, CNN is reporting. The “formal threat” comes in the form of a letter, CNN’s sources say, but none of the parties involved—the White House, Bolton himself, or his publisher, Simon & Schuster—commented.
As Karen Tumulty tweeted, get ready for the advertising campaign dubbing this “the book the White House doesn’t want you to read,” but what the United States needs is not Bolton’s book, it’s Bolton’s testimony.
Bolton is a warmonger with blood on his hands and decades of faithful service to the Republican cause. But here, he has information the country needs to hear, not by giving him money for a book but under oath in the impeachment trial. The White House threat is not, most likely, about the book itself, either. It’s about sending a message to Republican senators not to vote to hear him, and to make regular people think of him as tainted.
The White House needs to discredit Bolton somehow, with polls showing big majorities in support of witnesses at the impeachment trial. Putting a cloud over him separate from the Senate vote on witnesses is the first move. There will be more—but all the people watching the White House campaign against Bolton need to remember that it’s not about him. It’s about what he witnessed Donald Trump saying and doing during his time as Trump’s close adviser.