Bolton Book Prompts CBS to Push Schiff for New Impeachment Charges

9 mins read


While ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News joined CBS Evening News in gushing about John Bolton’s new anti-Trump book, The Room Where It Happened on Wednesday, CBS congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes took it a step further, pressing House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D) on whether or not Democrats would pursue new impeachment charges against President Trump.

In back-to-back segments, CBS pounced on the allegations Bolton put forth and highlighted the reactions from Congressional Democrats (which lasted for a combined four minutes and 25 seconds). CBS White House correspondent Ben Tracy boosted Bolton’s claim that Trump wanted help from Ukraine and China to win the 2020 election:

TRACY: Bolton confirms President Trump explicitly linked military aid to Ukraine to investigations of former Vice President Joe Biden, the central claim that led to the President being impeached.

(…)

TRACY: Bolton claims Mr. Trump wanted China to go even further. In 2019, pleading with Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him win farm states in the 2020 election with increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat.

This seemed to be the launching point for Cordes’ report on the reaction from Democrats. “Democrats argued today that Bolton’s new revelations prove what they’ve long said about the President,” she began.

 

 

After noting how Democrats “saved their greatest fury for Bolton himself” since he didn’t testify during their investigation, Cordes queued up a clip of her interview with Schiff, pushing him for a new impeachment trial:

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): John Bolton is on patriot here.

CORDES: California Democrat Adam Schiff led the House impeachment team.

Do you plan to do anything with the information that Bolton sets out in this book?

SCHIFF: We certainly do intend to explore the allegations in the book, what steps we take.

CORDES: Would you ever consider new impeachment charges?

SCHIFF: We’ll certainly look into the merits of these allegations and in consultation with our leadership, decide what steps may be warranted.

“Democrats reserved some of their ire today for Senate Republicans, who had a chance to subpoena Bolton earlier this year but voted against it,” she added.

Of course, CBS also frontloaded Tracy’s report with the more embarrassing allegations. “Former National Security Adviser John Bolton paints a picture of a highly uninformed and impulsive president. (…) Bolton says President Trump did not know Britain was a nuclear power and asked if Finland of part of Russia,” he told viewers. And it wasn’t until late in his report that Tracy noted that CBS was connected to Bolton’s publisher, Simon & Schuster via their parent company, ViacomCBS.

And since CBS was busy gushing about the book and fallout, that left little time to report on Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-SC) police reform bill.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CBS Evening News
June 17, 2020
6:35:56 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: A new book by President Trump’s former national security adviser paints a damning portrait of a president who puts his own interests ahead of the country’s. The book, by John Bolton, is the first account from a high-level Trump White House insider. Bolton was paid $2 million to write the tell-all, which is more than 500 pages long. CBS’s Ben Tracy is at the White House tonight. Ben.

BEN TRACY: Norah, when John Bolton left the White House last September, he says he resigned, President Trump says he fired him, and the two have not spoken since. President Trump seemed to know this book would be bad for him, and it is.

[Cuts to video]

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton paints a picture of a highly uninformed and impulsive president. In excerpts from his book, The Room Where It Happened obtained by CBS News, Bolton says President Trump did not know Britain was a nuclear power and asked if Finland of part of Russia. Bolton confirms President Trump explicitly linked military aid to Ukraine to investigations of former Vice President Joe Biden, the central claim that led to the President being impeached.

(…)

TRACY: Bolton claims Mr. Trump wanted China to go even further. In 2019, pleading with Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him win farm states in the 2020 election with increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat.

(…)

TRACY: The Trump administration is suing Bolton personally in a last-minute attempt to stop the book from being released next week, claiming it still contains classified information, despite a several-months-long government review. President Trump’s view of what should be classified goes far beyond the actual standard.

(…)

TRACY: In the book, published by Simon & Schuster, a division of ViacomCBS, Bolton alleges President Trump expressed a willingness to halt criminal investigations “to, in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked,” citing cases involving China and Turkey. Bolton writes, “The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life.”

Bolton also says during the 2018 summit with Kim Jong-un, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slipped him a note saying “President Trump is “so full of expletive,” a pattern Bolton claims of administration officials regularly disparaging the President behind his back.

[Cuts back to live]

The White House is pushing back tonight, saying that Bolton is undermining national security and trying to profit off of his time here at the White House. His book does now top Amazon’s bestseller list. Norah.

O’DONNELL: Ben Tracy at the White House, thank you.

Tonight, Democrats are asking why Bolton didn’t step forward before and testify when the stakes were highest, during President Trump’s Impeachment inquiry and trial earlier this year. CBS’s Nancy Cordes with reaction tonight from Capitol hill.

[Cuts to video]

NANCY CORDES: Democrats argued today that Bolton’s new revelations prove what they’ve long said about the President.

(…)

CORDES: But they saved their greatest fury for Bolton himself.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Thank you, John Bolton, for being the firefighter that shows up to the building that’s already burned with the fire hose and saying, “I’m here to help.”

CORDES: Bolton initially refused to testify before House impeachment investigators, leaving his former subordinates to convey his thoughts for him.

(…)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): John Bolton is on patriot here.

CORDES: California Democrat Adam Schiff led the House impeachment team.

Do you plan to do anything with the information that Bolton sets out in this book?

SCHIFF: We certainly do intend to explore the allegations in the book, what steps we take.

CORDES: Would you ever consider new impeachment charges?

SCHIFF: We’ll certainly look into the merits of these allegations and in consultation with our leadership, decide what steps may be warranted.

[Cuts back to live]

CORDES: Democrats reserved some of their ire today for Senate Republicans, who had a chance to subpoena Bolton earlier this year but voted against it. The few Republicans who weighed in today said that hearing Bolton testify would not have changed their positions, Norah, against impeaching the President.

O’DONNELL: All right, Nancy Cordes, thank you



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