U.S. President Donald Trump's impeachment trial enters a pivotal week on Monday as his lawyers resume their defence following a fresh report that could intensify pressure on Senate Republicans to call former national security adviser John Bolton to testify.
Trump and his allies have argued Bolton's conversations with the president are covered by executive privilege, and therefore can reject a subpoena from Congress. Hunter Biden worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was vice president.
The Times also reports that Bolton wrote in the draft that acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was present during at least one phone call where Giuliani and Trump discussed Yovanovitch.
So far, minority Democrats in the Senate have been waging a futile battle to get at least four Republican senators to join them in a simple majority to subpoena Bolton and other Trump officials to testify about their recollections of behind-the-scenes meetings with Trump about Ukraine in the June-to-September period past year. And if these Senators don't let witnesses testify, how can they claim any sort of integrity when they face reelection? Bolton's upcoming book - which is now slated for March 17 - is a great example of how the hastily assembled walls the Trump team have built around its defense can quickly crumble and in some cases already have. The revelation, just before the trial resumes Monday afternoon, might make it extraordinarily hard for Trump's defense team to continue that line of defense. A showdown vote on calling witnesses could loom later in the week.
Trump has denied all accusations and characterized the impeachment as a hoax and a political witch hunt. "In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination".
Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, lead House impeachment manager Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said his reaction to the opening arguments by Trump's team was that "they're deathly afraid of what witnesses will have to say".
"The odds of deposition for new witnesses is certainly rising dramatically", one senior Republican official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly assess party dynamics, said Sunday evening after the publication of the Times report. "There is no defensible reason to wait until his book is published, when the information he has to offer is critical to the most important decision senators must now make - whether to convict the president of impeachable offenses".
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Schools and universities, which are now on a Lunar New Year break , would remain closed until February 17, Ms. Lam also said she had sought the assistance from China's State Council to ensure mask supplies were adequate.
"The problem with John is it's a national security problem", Trump said. A spokeswoman for Mr. Barr denied that he learned of the call from Mr. Bolton; the Justice Department has said he learned about it only in mid-August.
Before any vote on witnesses, Trump's legal team was to make its case in depth on Monday, turning to several high-profile attorneys to argue against impeachment.
"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. Instead, it barely moved the political needle in the capital as Republicans massed solidly behind Trump and the President dismissed the disclosure with another Twitter barrage.
President Trump made a thinly veiled incitement of violence against the leader of the House Democrats prosecuting the impeachment case against him in the Senate. The goal: keep the Congressional GOP unified against calls for witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
Officials had frozen the aid, and a deadline was looming to begin sending it, Bolton noted, according to the newspaper.
"I've also said there is an appropriate time for us to evaluate whether we need additional information -that time is nearly here".
The latest reports come after a video made public on Saturday showed Mr Trump ordering the removal of the United States ambassador to Ukraine in 2018. Bolton now suggests Trump was indeed telling people privately that the withheld military aid was part of a quid pro quo - a quid pro quo which European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified that he communicated to the Ukrainians.