June 17, 2020

Van Hollen Statement on Bolton Excerpts: It’s clear that President Trump Puts Himself Over National Security Interests – Republican Leader McConnell Must Stop Aiding and Abetting Trump’s Betrayal of our Country

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding excerpts released from John Bolton’s forthcoming book on President Trump’s actions related to our national security:

“It’s clear that President Trump serves one man and one man only. He does not act in the best interests of the American people – but only his own, and he consistently puts his own interests over the national security of the United States. John Bolton should have brought this disturbing information to light much earlier, but now Senate Republicans must act to defend our country from the threats to our national security coming from the President himself.”  

“Over the course of the Trump Presidency, Republican Leader McConnell and this Administration have blocked bipartisan legislation I have introduced that would hold dictators accountable and punish our adversaries for their attacks on our democracy. For any Senate Republicans who thought they could provide cover for Trump, John Bolton has ripped away the mask. President Trump has refused to take meaningful action on Russia, China, and North Korea in order to curry their support for his reelection. This represents a clear and present danger to the United States. Senator McConnell must stop aiding and abetting Trump’s betrayal of our country. This has gone much too far.” 

Senator Van Hollen has introduced a number of proposals to hold China accountable, including: 

  • The Hong Kong Autonomy Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Toomey and Van Hollen to sanction those responsible for the erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy and democratic freedoms
  • The Protecting American Intellectual Property Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Van Hollen and Sasse to sanction those responsible for the theft of U.S. trade secrets
  • The NETWORKS Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Cotton, Schumer, Van Hollen,  and Rick Scott to impose sanctions on foreign telecommunications firms producing 5G technology, like Huawei, that engage in industrial espionage or violate U.S. sanctions
  • The Telecommunications Denial Order Enforcement Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Cotton and Van Hollen to impose denial orders on foreign telecommunications firms – such as Huawei and ZTE – found to violate U.S. sanctions and export control laws
  • The True Reciprocity Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Sullivan and Van Hollen to mandate reporting on the Chinese government’s restrictions on U.S. diplomats, officials, journalists, businesses, and nongovernmental organizations
  • The ZERO Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Rubio and Van Hollen to ensure ZTE complies with the terms of its settlement agreement and to impose a denial order if ZTE is found to violate the terms of the agreement
  • The DETER Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Van Hollen and Rubio to sanction Russia and other foreign governments that interfere in our elections

All of these bills are bipartisan but have been blocked by the Administration and Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republican Leadership. Republicans also blocked Senator Van Hollen’s effort to call witnesses in the Senate Impeachment trial, and John Bolton refused to testify in the House Impeachment proceedings.