and maybe the Republican Caucus Lunch also.
Today, the Senate Democratic caucus is having its weekly lunch session, and the topic of the day is John Bolton.
I’m sure that a number of Senators will communicate the long roster of reasons that Bolton should be withdrawn by the President — but will also lay out the pending questions including the unresolved NSA intercepts evidence requests and questions about potential conflicts of interest that Matthew Freedman had when working as a special assistant to Bolton but also maintaining a roster of private lobbying clients.
Senator Reid’s strategy on Bolton should become more clear after the lunch today. Senator Frist still has not notified the minority of his intent to file cloture.
However, earlier Senator Boxer informed Frist of her intent to object
to the nomination — so the only way Bolton will get ‘done’ this week is if Frist wins a cloture motion.
Who will concede? Who will blink? On the one hand, the Dems may think that they got a win in the filibuster compromise and may not want to dig in as ferociously against Bolton.
On the other hand, Frist has a handful of public Republicans — and many private ones — who really despise the Bolton nomination. They may not want to immediately go back into hand-to-hand battle with the Democrats after just relieving the pressure on the judges.
If it were my choice, Dems and moderate Republicans should stand strong against Bolton — if not for the many reasons he is wrong for the job then also because the White House has defied Senate requests for information — EVEN FROM THE REPUBLICAN CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE.
That alone should be enough to scuttle the Bolton nomination — particularly given the odd way that the nomination came to the floor of the Senate with no recommendation from Committee.
More to come.
— Steve Clemons