John Robert Bolton is the longtime Republican consultant and former diplomat who served as the National Security Adviser for President Donald Trump until September of 2019.
Bolton stated publicly that he would testify in the impeachment trial against President Donald if the Senate issued a subpoena. But lawmakers voted 51-49 against calling witnesses on January 31, 2020.
Bolton had been considered a key potential witness, especially in light of revelations made in his upcoming book. According to an early manuscript, Bolton claimed to have first-hand knowledge that the president wished to freeze military aid to Ukraine in order to persuade Ukraine’s government to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Bolton alleges that President Trump told him this in August of 2019, according to reporting from the New York Times.
President Trump has denied the accusation. He wrote in a tweet, “If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book.”
Based on Bolton’s public financial disclosure report, he doesn’t appear to be financially reliant on future book sales. Prior to going to work for the Trump administration, he was earning hundreds of thousands of dollars per year from his appearances on Fox News, his salary at a non-profit, and from speaking fees. Bolton’s personal net worth is estimated to be $6 million.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. John Bolton’s Most Lucrative Position Was His Role as a Fox News Contributor
John Bolton listed multiple positions on his public financial disclosure form, which was filed in May of 2018 with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics and can be viewed in full here. His most lucrative position was with Fox News. The form shows that he earned a salary of $569,423 as a contributor. Bolton served as a contributor for the network from 2007 until April of 2018, when he began working in the Trump administration.
Bolton’s second salary position was with the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C. think tank. Bolton was a Senior Fellow within the organization and earned $240,000 per year. He began working there in January of 2007.
Bolton also began his association with a company called Diamond Offshore Drilling in early 2007. He did not earn a salary as Board Director, but his listed fees came in at $81,500. The form states that after resigning from the board of directors in April of 2018, Bolton was also required to sell off any remaining stock or forfeit unexpired stock appreciation rights.
In addition, Bolton earned substantial sums in consulting fees. Rhone Group, a private equity firm, paid Bolton $122,600 in advisory fees. He earned $155,000 in advisory and board fees from the conservative think tank called the Gatestone Institute. Another $165,000 in consulting fees came from the Counter Extremism Project, a non-profit policy organization that works to “combat the growing threat from extremist ideologies” in part by exposing where extremist groups get funding.
2. Bolton’s Most Lucrative Speaking Fee Was Listed As $115,000
John Bolton’s resume includes time spent as the ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, serving as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs during the elder Bush’s administration, and serving as an Assistant Attorney General under President Ronald Reagan. Those experiences, along with his numerous roles listed in the previous section, made Bolton an attractive figure for paid public appearances.
His financial disclosure form lists more than 30 public appearances that took place between 2017 and April of 2018, for which he accepted speaking fees. A few examples include:
- $115,000 from Pinchuk Foundation and YES Conference (two dates listed)
- $100,000 from the Guardian of Zion, Rennert Center (award recipient and speaking fee)
- $72,000 from Deutsche Bank
- $46,500 from HSBC (two dates listed)
- $25,000 from Arizona State University
- $20,000 from AmeriQuest Transportation & Logistics
- $20,000 from the Friends of Israel Defense Forces
- $16,000 from the Hoover Institution
- $10,000 from the David Horowitz Freedom Foundation
- $10,000 from Flagler County Republicans
- $8,000 from Colorado Christian University
- $7,000 from Texas A&M University
Bolton also listed several writing fees he received for various articles in the Hill, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Times of London, the Daily Telegraph and the Pittsburgh Tribune.
3. John Bolton’s Maryland Home Is Worth At Least $1.4 Million
John Bolton and his wife, Gretchen Smith Bolton, have owned their Maryland home since 1986. They purchased it for $465,000.
Property records available online from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation indicate that the Boltons did renovation work over the years. The primary structure was built in 1939 and the value of the total improvements is listed as more than $614,000. The value of the property as of January 2019 was $1,437,500.
The home sits on just over half an acre of land and has 3,267 square feet of main living space. There are an extra 1,000 square feet in the finished basement.
4. Bolton Owns a 2002 Toyota Prius
John Bolton has done well for himself financially, based on the financial disclosure report he had to submit when he accepted a job in the Trump administration. But Bolton appears to have been driving the same vehicle for a significant amount of time.
A search of online records shows only one car registered to his name and address: a Toyota Prius. The vehicle identification number reveals that Bolton owns a 2002 model, which is an electric hybrid. The VIC also shows that Bolton’s vehicle has an exterior color called “Electric Green Mica.”
The Boltons appear to have an affinity for American-made vehicles. Gretchen Bolton has a Ford Focus registered to her name.
5. Bolton’s Wife Works as a Financial Adviser & Retirement Planning Specialist
Gretchen Smith Bolton works for AXA Advisors as a financial planner and retirement planning specialist. John Bolton did not list his wife’s salary on the executive branch form but did include that she will have access to a pension plan that is valued between $50,000 and $100,000.
The form also shows that the Boltons are invested in a wide variety of stocks and bonds. At the time the form was filed, the Boltons owned undeveloped land in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and commercial real estate on Bethesda, Maryland.
Bolton was not required to disclose the value of his primary residence. The form lists only three liabilities. He has “Capital commitments” to Rhone Partners IV LP, Rhone Partners V LP, and Randolph Private Equity funds. Those commitments are worth up to $615,000.