Gee, wouldn’t this have been super helpful during the impeachment trial?

Courtesy of NYT:

Mr. Bolton describes several episodes where the president expressed a willingness to halt criminal investigations “to, in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked,” citing cases involving major firms in China and Turkey. “The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn’t accept,” Mr. Bolton writes, saying that he reported his concerns to Attorney General William P. Barr.

Mr. Bolton also adds a striking new accusation by describing how Mr. Trump overtly linked tariff talks with China to his own political fortunes by asking President Xi Jinping to buy American agricultural products to help him win farm states in this year’s election. Mr. Trump, he writes, was “pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win.” Mr. Bolton said that Mr. Trump “stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome.”

While other books by journalists, lower-level former aides and even an anonymous senior official have revealed much about the Trump White House, Mr. Bolton’s volume is the first tell-all memoir by such a high-ranking official who participated in major foreign policy events and has a lifetime of conservative credentials. It is a withering portrait of a president ignorant of even basic facts about the world, susceptible to transparent flattery by authoritarian leaders manipulating him and prone to false statements, foul-mouthed eruptions and snap decisions that aides try to manage or reverse.

Mr. Trump did not seem to know, for example, that Britain was a nuclear power and asked if Finland was a part of Russia, Mr. Bolton writes. The president never tired of assailing allied leaders and came closer to withdrawing the United States from NATO than previously known. He said it would be “cool” to invade Venezuela.

At times, Mr. Trump seemed to almost mimic the authoritarian leaders he appeared to admire. “These people should be executed,” Mr. Trump once said of journalists. “They are scumbags.” When Mr. Xi explained why he was building concentration camps in China, the book says, Mr. Trump “said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which he thought was exactly the right thing to do.” He repeatedly badgered Mr. Barr to prosecute former Secretary of State John F. Kerry for talking with Iran in what he insisted was a violation of the Logan Act.

In the face of such behavior, even top advisers who position themselves as unswervingly loyal mock Mr. Trump behind his back. During the president’s 2018 meeting with North Korea’s leader, according to the book, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slipped Mr. Bolton a note disparaging the president, saying, “He is so full of shit.” A month later, Mr. Bolton writes, Mr. Pompeo dismissed the president’s North Korea diplomacy, declaring that there was “zero probability of success.”

This book essentially reinforces the charges made in previous books that Trump is completely incapable of handling the job of president, is uncomfortably impressed by strong man dictators, and is mocked behind his back by virtually everybody who works for him. 

However, Bolton was also able to see up close and personal Trump’s completely self-serving approach to foreign relations and his crippling lack of intelligence about other countries. 

Speaking of a lack of intelligence, guess who is now freaking out about this book on Twitter.

Trump’s Justice Department is also trying to block publication of the book. Which has already been published.

Courtesy of NYT:

The Justice Department asked a judge on Wednesday to order President Trump’s former national security adviser John R. Bolton to halt publication of his memoir, which has already been printed and distributed to booksellers, saying that it contained classified information even as details emerged from it.

In a court filing, the Trump administration also urged the judge overseeing the lawsuit, Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, to declare that the potential restraining order it was seeking should also bind the book’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, and stores from disseminating the book once they received notice of it.

It is quite clear to the legal community that this will not stop the distribution of the book and seems designed to placate Donald Trump rather than actually have any effect on the book’s sales. 

It is just another example of Trump trying and failing to keep facts away from the American people that clearly illustrate his incompetence.