John Bolton willing to testify in Trump's impeachment trial

Source: Politico | January 6, 2020 | Andrew Desiderio and Kyle Cheney

Bolton’s offer is a win for Senate Democrats, who have sought additional testimony and documents against the president.

Former national security adviser John Bolton said Monday that he would testify if he is subpoenaed as part of the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

In a statement posted online, Bolton, who was asked to testify as part of the House’s impeachment inquiry but refused to appear for a deposition, said he wants to meet his “obligations” both as a citizen and as a former top presidential adviser.

“Since my testimony is once again at issue, I have had to resolve the serious competing issues as best I could, based on careful consideration and study,” Bolton wrote. “I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify.”

Bolton’s surprise offer comes as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) remain at an impasse over the parameters for the chamber’s trial. Schumer has been pushing McConnell to allow additional witness testimony and document production as part of the trial, but McConnell has maintained that those issues should be considered after the trial begins.

The statement from Bolton — who has remained relatively quiet since Trump fired him last year — puts new pressure on the handful of Republican senators who could side with Democrats in their demand for documents and witness testimony. A Senate subpoena requires at least 51 votes, and four Republicans would need to vote with Democrats.

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Bolton was not subpoenaed as part of the House’s impeachment inquiry, and he did not say in his statement whether he would comply with a subpoena from the lower chamber. A spokeswoman for Bolton declined to comment on whether he would honor a House subpoena.

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“It now falls to the Senate to fulfill its constitutional obligation to try impeachments, and it does not appear possible that a final judicial resolution of the still-unanswered constitutional questions can be obtained before the Senate acts,” Bolton said Monday.

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