Allegations about President Donald Trump in a new book by former White House official John Bolton could be a factor in Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s fight to avoid extradition from Canada to the United States.
Passages from the book penned by Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, are likely to be explored as a way to boost arguments of political involvement in the case of the Chinese telecoms giant’s chief financial officer, according to legal experts and a source familiar with her defence.
Of particular interest are moments in which Bolton says Trump linked the case to a potential US trade deal with China.
Bolton writes in the book that Trump viewed concerns raised by his advisers about Huawei and the ZTE telecoms firm being national security threats as “an opportunity to make personal gestures to” Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“In 2018, for example, he reversed penalties that [Wilbur] Ross and the Commerce Department had imposed on ZTE,” Bolton wrote in his tell-all memoir titled The Room Where it Happened, which is scheduled for release on Tuesday.
“In 2019, he offered to reverse criminal prosecution against Huawei if it would help in the trade deal – which, of course, was primarily about getting Trump re-elected in 2020.”
Meng’s case has wedged middle-power Canada into the wider clash between two heavyweights: China and the US. Her arrest has angered Beijing, which has called Canada an accomplice in a “grave political incident”, halted some key Canadian agricultural exports and detained two Canadians who were formally charged last week with spying.