- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Former National Security Adviser John R. Bolton urged a top House Democrat to investigate the administration’s recalling of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch after he left his White House job last September.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel, New York Democrat, said Wednesday that he spoke with Mr. Bolton by phone last Sept. 23, a few weeks after Mr. Bolton either quit or was fired by President Trump.

“On that call, Ambassador Bolton suggested to me — unprompted — that the committee look into the recall of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch,” Mr. Engel said in a statement. “He strongly implied that something improper had occurred around her removal as our top diplomat in Kyiv.”

Ms. Yovanovitch was removed from her post, witnesses testified in the impeachment inquiry, because the president and personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani believed she was impeding their efforts to get the Ukrainian government to probe corruption and Democratic candidate Joseph R. Biden in Ukraine.

Mr. Engel said he was raising the matter now because the president said Mr. Bolton never mentioned any problems about the Ukraine situation when he left his job.
“President Trump is wrong that John Bolton didn’t say anything about the Trump-Ukraine Scandal at the time the president fired him,” Mr. Engel said. “He said something to me.”

The lawmaker said his staff reached out to Mr. Bolton last Sept. 19 because he has known Mr. Bolton for years, and “we have a cordial and respectful relationship and I wanted to thank him for his service.”

“I also wanted to ask if he would talk to the Foreign Affairs Committee, as former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did, to aid our general oversight efforts of U.S. foreign policy,” Mr. Engel said.

The lawmaker said he didn’t disclose their private conversation publicly at the time, but he “informed my investigative colleagues.”

“It was one of the reasons we wished to hear from Ambassador Bolton, under oath, in a formal setting,” he said of House investigations into Ukraine. “Ambassador Bolton has made clear over the last few months that he has more to say on this issue. And now that the president has called his credibility into question, it’s important to set the record straight.”

He said “it’s telling that, of all people, John Bolton is now the target of right-wing ire. It underscores just how important it is that the Senate subpoena Ambassador Bolton as a witness.”

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