What Bolton book? Trump impeachment lawyers skirt new disclosures


Despite a Sunday report indicating former National Security Adviser John Bolton will say in his book he spoke directly to President Trump about Ukraine, a number of GOP senators still don't want to hear from him in Trump's impeachment trial.

According to the book manuscript excerpts made public, Bolton wrote that he had discussions with Trump in which the president insisted he would not allow a resumption of military aid to Ukraine until the Ukrainian government agreed to announce a corruption investigation of Joe and Hunter Biden, as well as an investigation into White House claims that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 United States election in an attempt to promote the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

In the Senate, Mr Trump's legal team resumed its presentation of opening arguments in the trial, including remarks by Ken Starr, the former independent counsel whose investigation into a sex scandal led to the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton, a Democrat.

Bolton's book is set for publication in March and his representatives have said the draft manuscript does not contain classified information. "To me, the facts of the case remain the same", Republican Sen.

The Bolton book has thrown a wrench in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plans for a speedy trial with no new witnesses since the revelations provide a first-hand account of an alleged quid pro quo. The Justice Department has countered that it isn't - even going so far as to say the famous grand jury "road map" materials that were crucial to the Nixon impeachment would have been kept from Congress if the dispute over them was retried today.

"John Bolton is no shrinking violet", Lankford said in a video posted to his Facebook page.

Now, senators will have 16 hours starting on Wednesday to ask written questions of the two sides. House Democrats have argued that Bolton and others in the Trump administration should be compelled to testify in the impeachment trial.

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I can appreciate why congressional Republicans see Bolton's testimony as a threat to Trump's presidency, but can we agree that the former White House aide meets the definition of a firsthand witness? Romney said, "I think it's increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those of us who think we should hear from John Bolton".

"Nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, would rise to the level of an abuse of power or an impeachable offense", Dershowitz said. Its large-scale efforts will be directed at Republican senators up for reelection in 2020 and 2022 who vote against impeachment.

"I encourage John to do that, without involving the trial", he declared.

Trump has shown a preference for authoritarian leaders over Washington's traditional Western allies, a situation underscored by his warm welcomes for Erdogan and Egypt's Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the White House. In an apparent reference to the manuscript leak, Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said: "We deal with publicly available information".

In October, the retired Marine Corps general said the President would not be in the middle of an impeachment process if he were still chief of staff, implying that White House advisers could have prevented it.

The Senate may resolve the issue of whether to call witnesses in a vote on Friday or Saturday. "That's politics, unfortunately. And Hamilton put impeachment in the hands of this body, the Senate, precisely and specifically to be above that fray".