John Bolton now reportedly says that he'd be willing to testify before Canadian courts that the crimes alleged against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou are not political in nature. That's a belief, the former national security advisor claimed in a recent Canadian Broadcast Corporation interview, he's willing to testify to.
During the CBC interview, conducted via "The Current," Mr. Bolton said that "the facts are what the facts are" and that the arrest, at least, wasn't political. The statement was in response to questions about Mr. Bolton's memoir. The book alludes to US President Donald Trump personally linking the arrest and trade negotiations.
The defense team allegedly plans to call on the writing as part of its claim that politics are at the center of the accusations and extradition.
This won't necessarily impact the defense's arguments
Now, Mr. Bolton's statements may actually only have minimal impact on the argument put forward by Ms. Meng's defense team. That is, of course, if the team actually chooses to argue that the extradition is political. That's because it's the statements of the US President that bolster its claims, rather than the actions of any US agency. At least, according to recent reports.
The defense team will reportedly argue that President Trump's offer to get involved in the ongoing investigation and court case politicizes the arrest. The president put forward that offer with conditions. Namely, that Huawei intervenes in ongoing trade disputes between China and the US. If the company could help broker a deal, the country's chief executive stated, then he'd be "willing" to "intervene."
The CFO's defense team has also posited that there was misconduct in the arrest to begin with, however. And it claims that the US holds evidence of that misconduct in a 'secret' document. That document was said to have been completed only a short time before the executive was arrested. It shows, the defense alleges, that there was a coordinated effort to plot the arrest and other actions.
Among those actions, allegedly violating Ms. Meng's rights, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSM) questioned the executive about the alleged crime and performed a search. That was, the team claims, done at the behest of the US government and more specifically the FBI. Such a move, the team asserts, bypasses proper procedures and processes.
Given that argument could ultimately hold as much, if not more, weight, the team may choose to leave the political arguments behind entirely.
Extradition of the Huawei CFO is still likely to be hotly contested, with or without Bolton
The decision to extradite Ms. Meng follows a determination by the courts, concluding that the laws she is accused of breaking would have also been a breach of laws if the charges had been pressed in Canada.
The CFO's arrest is the result of allegations that she breached US sanctions against Iran through a secondary company. The executive also stands accused of misleading banking institutions about those interactions and transactions. That move could ultimately have landed banks in trouble with the authorities as well, with the latter fraud accusation being the more important of the two.
Mr. Meng remains in custody in Canada pending extradition.
According to John Bolton, the subsequent arrest of the Huawei CFO, at the very least was apolitical. But it's unclear whether or how the president's running commentary will factor into the outcome of the case.