Hunter Biden for Bolton... Why not?

Reply Sun 26 Jan, 2020 10:34 pm
Let's say the deal is that Bolton will testify to the Senate for Trump's impeachment hearing and in exchange Hunter Biden will testify to. What is the risk?

I don't think it would be that difficult for Hunter Biden. He would have time to prepare and be coached. If I were preparting him, I would tell him that he would would be scolded by self-righteous Republicans, but just sitting there makes his questioners look partisan and cruel. If the Republicans seem like they are putting Hunter Biden on trial, they will lose face. He will have to answer "yes" to his drug arrest. He will give short answers to all question... basically saying nothing. He a few lines to say "I don't see how this is relevant", which he will repeat over and over.

The whole thing will be an irrelevant waste of time, and that is the message the American people will get and the message the Democratic Senators will keep pounding home in their questioning.

John Bolton on the other hand.... what a gold mine of relevant information he has for Democrats.

I say they should jump at this trade if it is on the table.
Reply Sun 26 Jan, 2020 10:43 pm
It doesn't matter if he doesn't see how a question is relevant. If he doesn't provide a truthful answer that's contempt of Congress and probably a few years in jail.
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2020 04:25 am
oralloy wrote:

It doesn't matter if he doesn't see how a question is relevant. If he doesn't provide a truthful answer that's contempt of Congress and probably a few years in jail.

You misunderstand what I am saying, or you are misunderstanding how these things work, or maybe both.

I don't know if you have ever given testimony under oath. I was coached, by competent, to answer questions truthfully by saying as little as possible. You answer "yes" or "no" truthfully to yes/no questions and give the shortest possible answer to anything else while explaining nothing.

The questions are going to be things that everyone already knows anyway.

He will say canned lines, given to him by his lawyers... in addition to answering the questions truthfully by saying nothing other than the literal question. The Republicans run the risk of looking like partisan buffoons while accomplishing nothing for their side.

The trial is about whether Donald Trump committed crimes and misdemeanors. Hunter Biden has very minimal relevance is any to this question. Everyone (except for partisan fanatics) already knows this. Hunter Biden is at best an excuse for Trump's quid pro quo, and making this argument means that the Republicans accept that there was a quid pro quo.
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Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2020 09:53 am
If Bolton were to come out and say that Trump didn't do anything, then what?

Right now Bolton is the gilded cow for the Dems.
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2020 05:51 pm
But he didnt did he?
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Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2020 06:17 pm
I think a lot of Conservative Republicans have mixed feelings about Trump. They fear him. That doesn't mean they like him. Bolton is in a position to turn on Trump (and he knows where the bodies are buried).

If Bolton had said that Trump didn't do anything, he would be like all of the other Senate Republicans who four years ago were against everything that Trump stands for and are now trembling at his feet.

Bill Clinton had Monica Lewinsky. Trump has Ted Cruz.
Reply Thu 30 Jan, 2020 08:44 am
We are going to see tomorrow...

I wonder if the Republicans are going to play the "Witness for Witness" gambit. It seems like an easy way out for them (that might not be so easy).

If they do, I feel strongly that the Democrats should call their bluff....
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Reply Thu 30 Jan, 2020 09:19 am
Why Having Hunter Biden Testify Would Be Bad for Trump

If it means John Bolton would also testify in the impeachment trial, it could help the Democrats.

If there are to be witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Trump — at this moment an unknown — John Bolton and Hunter Biden would almost certainly be among those called to testify. Some people on Capitol Hill describe it as a one-for-one trade.

This idea has been widely dismissed by both sides. Democrats say Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden, is irrelevant to the issues in the articles of impeachment. The president and Republicans assert that Mr. Bolton, the former national security adviser who was fired by Mr. Trump — Mr. Bolton says he quit — is simply promoting a forthcoming book and has nothing meaningful to say.

To my own surprise, I now think that such an arrangement might well be highly valuable — for the country.

For some time, I was against the Democrats’ offering any Biden as a witness in Mr. Trump’s trial, on principle. Just because the Republicans want to batter Hunter Biden is no reason to submit either him or his father as fodder to hostile Republicans. But principle can be turned on its head; calling Hunter Biden could backfire on the Republicans big time.

In a television interview last October Joe Biden’s sole surviving and troubled son came across as a straightforward, unassuming guy: He conceded that he most likely wouldn’t have been asked to join the lucrative board of one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies, Burisma, or been offered other opportunities, but for his last name.

A multitude of investigations of his arrangement with Burisma have turned up no wrongdoing on Hunter’s part — other than inviting the appearance of a conflict of interest, since at the time his father was in charge of Ukraine policy for Barack Obama. Having him appear as a witness could expose the fatuity of the Republicans’ efforts to smear him and his father. In fact, a number of Republicans actually don’t want to call the younger Biden. They’re worried about the circus atmosphere that might present — and they’d rather have the issue linger as a useful weapon. Acceding to Hunter as a witness would call the Republicans’ bluff.

Having Joe Biden’s son testify would illuminate the Bidens’ irrelevance to the issue of whether the president held up congressionally appropriated military assistance for Ukraine until the Ukrainian president announced — not necessarily conducted, just announced — a government investigation into the Bidens’ role. An appearance by Hunter before Senate questioners now could also go some distance toward removing him as an issue in the general election, should his father be the Democratic nominee. In fact, Hunter could be the star witness as to why a president’s (or vice president’s) offspring should stay out of any business that might have something to do with their parents’ job.

Moreover Joe Biden is at his most moving when he talks about his family and what it has been through: The Republicans could be handing him a lovely opportunity to make a knockout campaign speech.

And several advantages would accrue to the Democrats if Mr. Bolton were to testify. First, this would undermine the White House’s and Republicans’ plan to terminate the trial with a vote to acquit Mr. Trump by the end of this week. Second, Mr. Bolton could smash the White House’s and Republicans’ argument that there is no direct evidence that Mr. Trump himself directly linked military aid to Ukraine to a request that the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, announce an investigation of the Bidens. (Mr. Bolton reportedly said as much in an unpublished manuscript of his forthcoming book, causing the White House to threaten to block its publication.)

Third, the longer the trial drags on the greater opportunity there is for more damaging information to arrive on the Democrats’ doorstep. Even if gathering the two-thirds Senate vote to remove Trump from office remains beyond reach, a secondary goal of the Democrats is to make Trump’s acquittal as unglorious as possible. The more an acquittal hinges on preposterous limits on disclosure of information and on preventing witness testimony, the less valid it will seem.

As in the case of the Mueller report, this won’t stop Mr. Trump from declaring a fabulous victory. But the Democrats, with the Republicans in control of the Senate and so far essentially united on not convicting the president and removing him from office, have to go with what they can get. Democrats publicly brush off suggestions of a Biden-for-Bolton witness swap, but that could be a negotiating position.

It’s odd that after three years of a Trump administration, Republicans didn’t foresee the danger in putting their political careers in the hands of a man who’s out solely for himself and has a very distant relationship with the truth. But they clearly felt that they had no choice, and thus they enabled Mr. Trump to take them out on his limb. They are so frightened of him and his base that they have accepted his demand that his bullying phone call with Mr. Zelensky be considered “perfect.” This has left them, as well as him, no wiggle room. Which makes a Bolton appearance all the more dangerous.

Also, having Mr. Bolton testify offers him and his newfound Democratic allies an opportunity to make other damaging disclosures that may not yet have been discovered in his book or may not lie therein. He can elaborate on another bit of damaging goods from his book that has already been revealed: that in Bolton’s view (he’s not alone in this) Mr. Trump has seemed particularly complaisant toward autocrats. Representative Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and lead prosecutor in the impeachment trial, had planned to investigate whether Mr. Trump’s foreign policy has been guided by his business investments. Mr. Bolton may know if this occurred.

Mr. Trump’s company, from which he hasn’t divested his interest, has property in at least two countries led by autocrats with whom he’s on especially friendly terms: Turkey and the Philippines. Mr. Bolton has written that he worried about Mr. Trump’s particular warmth toward the leaders of China and Turkey. Might Mr. Trump’s subdued reaction to demonstrations in Hong Kong and to Turkey’s decision to invade northern Syria have anything to do with Trump company business?

Mr. Bolton may also know about other conversations with foreign leaders locked in the supersecret computer system where the full conversation between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky was consigned. We’ve only seen a scrubbed transcript of that conversation. Why? And are there other conversations with foreign leaders revealing blunders or abuses of power by Mr. Trump stored there as well?

John Bolton might have answers. Democrats should strike a deal, even an implicit one, to get him on the witness stand.

Reply Thu 30 Jan, 2020 09:57 am
maxdancona wrote:

Bolton is in a position to turn on Trump (and he knows where the bodies are buried).

He may know where some of them are, but I bet he's clueless about most of them because most of them were buried before Bolton joined the administration.
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Reply Thu 30 Jan, 2020 10:00 am
I don't believe that testimony from either John Bolton or Hunter Biden (or anyone else for that matter) will harm Mr. Trump in the slightest.

The simple fact remains: there is nothing even remotely untoward about what Mr. Trump is accused of doing.

Proving that he actually did it is not going to change the reality that there was nothing wrong about him having done it.

I do however object based on ethical principles to the notion of denying a defendant the right to put on a defense and confront his accusers. So if the Democrats get their witnesses, I think it is unacceptable to deny Mr. Trump his witnesses too.

I won't pay any attention to any of the witnesses on either side. But I'll listen to the evening summary of the day's events on the PBS NewsHour.
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