President Donald Trump wants his former national security adviser John Bolton criminally investigated for possibly mishandling classified information, Vanity Fair reports.
Though Bolton left the administration on bad terms, Trump has since grown angrier at his former top aide.
Trump blamed Bolton for leaking details about the Ukraine effort that led to the president’s impeachment in his upcoming book manuscript, even though Bolton’s attorneys denied that it came from him and suggested it came from the White House.
The White House already sent a cease and desist letter to Bolton’s publisher demanding they not release his book but Trump is also “calling people and telling them to go after Bolton,” according to the report.
One person familiar with Trump’s thinking told the outlet that the president believes Bolton may have mishandled classified information and wants him to be “criminally investigated.”
“The White House is planning to leak White House emails from Bolton that purportedly allege Bolton abused his position at the National Security Council,” Vanity Fair reported. “[An] official said that West Wing officials have discussed releasing emails ‘showing [Bolton] was doing pay-to-play,’ the official said. A person close to Bolton dismissed the story. ‘John plays things straight,’ the person said."
Trump has an enemies list:
“He has an enemies list that is growing by the day,” a source told Vanity Fair.
Along with Bolton, that list includes House Committee Chairmen Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler as well as Utah Republican Mitt Romney, who has frequently defied the president.
“It’s payback time,” a prominent Republican told the outlet.
Former White House ethics chief Walter Shaub said that campaign to get people on his enemies list is another example of Trump abusing his power.
“McConnell hasn't even held the final vote to launch the post checks and balances era, and already the would-be authoritarian is escalating his abuses of power,” he wrote.
"This is what Senate Republicans are voting to permit," said CNN legal analyst Susan Hennessey. "They know this is terrifying and destructive of the country, but they're more afraid of what Trump might do to them."
Trump feels invincible:
Though some Republicans planning to vote to acquit Trump expressed hope that the impeachment will make the president think twice in the future, Axios reports that Trump feels more invincible than ever.
“Trump and his entire inner circle convey supreme self-confidence, bordering on a sense of invincibility,” the outlet reported. “Over the past month, Trumpworld's sense of being unbeatable has only grown… Everything we've heard from Trump's aides over the last month suggests he will give less and less credence to voices urging caution.”