Former White House national security adviser John Bolton on Wednesday defended his decision not to discuss alleged details from his upcoming book which Democrats believed would be pertinent to the impeachment of President Trump.
Bolton made his remarks at an event at Vanderbilt University, where he shared the stage with his predecessor from the Obama administration, Susan Rice. Audio of the remarks was obtained by ABC News.
“It’s inconceivable to me that if I had firsthand knowledge of a gross abuse of presidential power, that I would withhold my testimony,” Rice told the audience to applause. “I would feel like I was shamefully violating my oath that I took to support and defend the Constitution.”
“People can argue about what I should have said and what I should have done,” Bolton said in his defense. “I will bet you a dollar right here and now my testimony would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome…I sleep at night because I have followed my conscience.”
Bolton then criticized the House’s handling of the impeachment process.
“The process drove Republicans who might have voted for impeachment away from the president because it was so partisan,” Bolton said, calling the House’s inquiry “impeachment malpractice.”
Details from Bolton’s book, The Room Where it Happened, were leaked to the New York Times in the final stretch of the Senate impeachment trial. The Times reported Bolton wrote that President Trump told him aid to Ukraine was contingent on that country’s commitment to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden.
The book is currently being reviewed by the White House for potential classified information. Bolton said on Monday that he hopes the book is eventually published and is not “suppressed.”