During his confirmation process, John Bolton, Bush’s nominee to be the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, inaccurately stated in a questionnaire that he had not been interviewed as part of any administrative investigation within the last five years. After initially stating that Bolton had answered the question correctly, the State Department has confirmed reports that Bolton was interviewed by the State Department’s inspector general in an investigation into the false intelligence reports in 2003 that Iraq was trying to purchase uranium from Africa, according to the Associated Press.
Sean McCormack, a State Department spokesperson, told the New York Times, “When Mr. Bolton completed his forms for the Senate he did not recall being interviewed by the inspector general.” Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE), who sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday asking about the inaccurate information provided by Bolton, said, “It seems unusual that Mr. Bolton would not remember his involvement in such a serious matter…In my mind, this raises more questions that need to be answered.”
Bolton’s nomination has been stalled for months by Senate Democrats, led by Senator Biden, because of his history of hostility towards the United Nations, international law, and the International Criminal Court (ICC). President Bush has hinted that he will install Bolton in the position of US Ambassador to the UN in a recess appointment next week, even now that it has been confirmed that Bolton gave inaccurate information to the Senate during his confirmation hearing, according to Reuters. In addition, US Representative Henry Waxman (D-NY) has asked the House subcommittee on national security to investigate the concealment of Bolton’s role in creating a State Department fact sheet about the false claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger.