White House warns Bolton's lawyer against publishing book
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Jan 30, 2020,
Jan 30, 2020, 0:24
President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team on Tuesday concluded their third day of oral arguments by attacking the impeachment charges brought by House Democrats. That came after both sides were given three days, respectively, to present their case.
The impeachment charges say the president froze vital military aid to Ukraine for two months last summer to pressure President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to publicly announce the probes, illicitly drawing a foreign nation into United States electoral politics.
Some Republican senators who oppose calling witnesses proposed that Bolton's manuscript be made available for senators to review on a classified basis, an idea rejected by top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer.
Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn, on behalf of Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler, Mike Lee, Kevin Cramer, and Martha McSally to the president's counsel: "Is the standard for impeachment in the House a lower threshold to meet than the standard for conviction in the Senate, and have the House managers met their evidentiary burden to support a vote of removal?" Senator Ted Cruz exuded confidence that Trump will be acquitted of all the charges at the end of the trial.
Trump is accused of trying to leverage $391 million in military aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into Biden and his son's position on the board of the Ukraine energy company Burisma while Biden was vice president.
Democrats would need to convince four Republicans to cross the aisle and vote with them to subpoena witnesses and start a debate over who should testify.
Those swaps, though, seem likely to fail as most Republican senators don't want to call Bolton and most Democrats would rather avoid dragging the Bidens further into the impeachment proceedings.
Trump, who has denied Bolton's account, has said he fired Bolton.
Democratic senators used their questions to cast doubt on the veracity of the Trump defence and make their case for witnesses including Bolton.
Trump added, referring to leaked excerpts from an unpublished manuscript of Bolton's book in which he allegedly expressed concerns to Attorney General William Barr about the president giving favours to the Turkish and Chinese presidents.
"It is not a game of leaks and unsourced manuscripts", Sekulow said.
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While Engel said in his statement that he informed investigative colleagues, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office told CNN she was not aware of the conversation before a formal impeachment inquiry was announced on September 24, the day after the Engel-Bolton call occurred.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told senators on Tuesday he did not have the votes to block Democrats from calling witnesses because some Republicans remained uncommitted, several media outlets reported. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who is facing perhaps the most hard reelection of any Senate Republican this year, told Colorado Politics that he wouldn't support the vote for witnesses. Sen. First, simply vote to call Bolton and only Bolton.
The White House had no comment.
The impeachment trial entered a new phase on Wednesday.
The implication of the poll for Trump's opponents is clear: Americans want witnesses, so let Bolton in.
"But I'm sorry to say you were also prophetic".
Trump has previously lashed out at once trusted advisers that have left the White House, such as Rex Tillerson, James Mattis and H.R. McMaster, but this time the stakes are much higher for the president. The argument was meant to preempt calls from Democrats for witnesses including Bolton, who writes in a forthcoming book that Trump told him he wanted to withhold military aid from Ukraine until it helped with investigations into Democratic rival Joe Biden.
As soon as House Democrats adopted two articles of impeachment against President Trump Dec. 18, they started making demands about how the Republican-controlled Senate should conduct the president's impeachment trial. Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.
"I'd like to hear from John Bolton".
"The Republicans can call who they want".