Demands Grow for Bolton to Testify at Trump’s Impeachment Trial

January 27, 2020 by Dan McCue
FILE - In this July 31, 2019 file photo, then National security adviser John Bolton speaks to media at the White House in Washington. Bolton says he's 'prepared to testify' in Senate impeachment trial if subpoenaed (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON — The battle over witness testimony at President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial reached a fevered pitch Monday after a draft of a book from former national security adviser John Bolton was found to include passages that undercut the president’s defense.

Trump has repeatedly insisted he never tied the withholding of aid to Ukraine to a demand the country investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

But in Bolton’s forthcoming book he writes that Trump told him he wanted to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in security aid from Ukraine until he received help with investigations into Biden.

Bolton’s book, “The Room Where It Happened; A White House Memoir,” is scheduled to be released March 17.  The former national security adviser’s account of the conversation, first published in The New York Times,  gave Democrats new fuel in their pursuit of sworn testimony from Bolton and other witnesses, a question expected to be taken up later this week by the Republican-led Senate.

Appearing on CNN Monday morning, Rep. Adam Schiff, who led the House impeachment inquiry, called Bolton’s account a test for the senators sitting as jurors in Trump’s impeachment trial.

“I don’t know how you can explain that you wanted a search for the truth in this trial and say you don’t want to hear from a witness who had a direct conversation about the central allegation in the articles of impeachment,” Schiff said.

The trial resumes Monday afternoon with arguments from Trump’s defense team, including reportedly, the first appearance at the trial by attorney Alan Dershowitz.

After the Times went online Sunday night Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate’s top Democrat, tweeted the story “suggests multiple top Trump administration officials knew the facts and deliberately misled Congress and the American people.”

This, he said, constituted “a massive White House cover-up.”

“It’s up to four Senate Republicans to ensure that John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, and others with direct knowledge of President Trump’s actions testify in the Senate trial,” Schumer added.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, told reporters Monday that he thinks it is “increasingly likely” that more Republican senators will support hearing testimony from Bolton following the Times report.

Romney declined to say not whether he wanted to see Bolton’s manuscript itself or whether he wants to know who in the White House might have known about the contents of the manuscript beforehand.

“It’s important to be able to hear from John Bolton for us to be able to make an impartial judgment,” Romney said.

Later, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine became the second Republican senator to say that reports on Bolton’s book strengthen the case for witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial.

“From the beginning, I’ve said that in fairness to both parties the decision on whether or not to call witnesses should be made after both the House managers and the President’s attorneys have had the opportunity to present their cases,” Collins said in a statement. “I’ve always said that I was likely to vote to call witnesses, just as I did in the 1999 Clinton trial. The reports about John Bolton’s book strengthen the case for witnesses and have prompted a number of conversations among my colleagues.”

Trump denied the claims in a series of tweets early Monday. “I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens,” Trump said in a tweet. “In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book.”

Bolton acrimoniously left the White House a day before Trump ultimately released the Ukraine aid on Sept. 11. He has already told lawmakers that he is willing to testify, despite the president’s order barring aides from cooperating in the probe.

“Americans know that a fair trial must include both the documents and witnesses blocked by the President — that starts with Mr. Bolton,” the impeachment managers said in a statement.

In The News

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Certifies Presidential Election Results
2020 Elections
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Certifies Presidential Election Results
November 24, 2020
by Dan McCue

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Bookvar certified the results of the 2020 presidential election Tuesday, after all 67 counties in the state certified their individual results late Monday night. A short time later, as required by federal law, Gov. Tom Wolf signed the... Read More

Illinois Congressional Delegation Opposes Effort to End Food Stamp Program at Senior Living Facilities
Senior Citizens
Illinois Congressional Delegation Opposes Effort to End Food Stamp Program at Senior Living Facilities
November 24, 2020
by Sean Trambley

WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., and Rodney Davis, R-Ill., along with U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., led the bipartisan Illinois Congressional delegation in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.  The letter opposes... Read More

Resolution Supporting Three Seas Initiative Unanimously Passes House
Foreign Affairs
Resolution Supporting Three Seas Initiative Unanimously Passes House
November 24, 2020
by Sean Trambley

WASHINGTON – Last week, a bipartisan resolution introduced by Reps. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, supporting the Three Seas Initiative unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The Three Seas Initiative is a strategic partnership of twelve Central and Eastern European nations with the... Read More

Espaillat-Rooney Bill Boosts Funding and Cooperation in the Caribbean
Drugs
Espaillat-Rooney Bill Boosts Funding and Cooperation in the Caribbean
November 24, 2020
by Sean Trambley

WASHINGTON – Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan measure increasing funding to the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative to help combat corruption and illicit drug trafficking between the United States and Caribbean nations. Introduced by Reps. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., and Francis Rooney, R-Fla.,... Read More

Wisconsin Presidential Recount in 4th Day, With Few Changes
State News
Wisconsin Presidential Recount in 4th Day, With Few Changes

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin's partial presidential recount entered its fourth day Monday, with very few changes in vote totals as President Donald Trump's attorneys appeared to be focused on a legal challenge seeking to toss tens of thousands of ballots, including the one cast by... Read More

National Security Experts Urge Trump to Concede
2020 Elections
National Security Experts Urge Trump to Concede

More than 100 former national security officials who served in Republican administrations or GOP members of Congress say President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the election and allow for an orderly transition is a “serious threat” to the homeland and America’s democratic process. In a signed... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top