Democratic Lawmaker Says Bolton Urged Congress To Probe Ukraine Ambassador's Firing

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 30th January, 2020) Former US National Security Adviser John Bolton, shortly after he was fired by President Donald Trump September 2019, recommended that the House Foreign Affairs Committee investigate the dismissal of US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich, Committee Chair Eliot Engel said on Wednesday.

"He [Bolton] and I spoke by telephone on September 23. On that call, Ambassador Bolton suggested to me - unprompted - that the committee look into the recall of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. He strongly implied that something improper had occurred around her removal as our top diplomat in Kyiv [Kiev]," Engel said in a statement.

Engel added that he decided to disclose the conversation now to illustrate Bolton's potential importance as a witness in the ongoing Senate impeachment trial.

Senate Democrats are pressing for Bolton to testify following reports that his forthcoming book recounts a conversation in which Trump made the release of nearly $400 million in military aid contingent on Ukraine's willingness to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

"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," Engel said.

Trump used Twitter to slam Bolton earlier on Wednesday, accusing his former aide of writing a 'nasty and untrue' account of his time in the White House and possibly revealing classified material.

Trump added: "If I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now."

Engel's disclosure feeds into calls from Senate Democrats to call Bolton as a witness in the impeachment trial - adding to pressure stemming from reports on the Bolton manuscript.

Senate Republicans had hoped to complete the impeachment trial without calling any witnesses, but several Republicans Senators have hinted they could side with Democrats who want to hear from Bolton.

Trump has never given a clear explanation of why he fired Yovanovich, but her May 2019 dismissal came at a time when Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani was investigating the Bidens' involvement in Ukraine during the Obama administration.

Giuliani reportedly pressed Trump to fire Yovanovich, according to media accounts.

Revelations in the Bolton book, as revealed by the New York Times,contradict Trump's claim that there was no link between calls for an investigation of the Bidens and a decision to withhold US military aid, according to many Senate Democrats.