Republicans fear the ‘floodgates’ will open if John Bolton testifies during Trump’s impeachment trial: report
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s book, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” isn’t due out until March 17, but Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times are reporting that according to an “unpublished manuscript” of the book, Bolton asserts that President Donald Trump and his allies tied military aid to Ukraine with an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. And in Axios, journalists Jonathan Swan, Mike Allen and Alayna Treene are reporting that Trump’s Republican supporters are seriously worried that the “floodgates” will open if Bolton testifies at Trump’s impeachment trial.
Trump and his allies have vehemently denied that there was ever a “quid pro quo” when it came to a Bidens investigation and military aid to Ukraine, while the House Democrats who led the impeachment inquiry against Trump last year have maintained that there most certainly was a “quid pro quo.” And according to Haberman and Schmidt’s report, Trump’s former national security adviser is confirming in his book that House Democrats are right.
Axios quotes a “top” White House aide as saying that if Bolton testifies during Trump’s impeachment trial, things can only get worse for the president.
Quoted anonymously, that aide told Axios, “There is a sense in the Senate that if one witness is allowed, the floodgates are open. If (Bolton) says stuff that implicates, say (Acting White House Chief of Starr) Mick (Mulvaney) or (Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo, then calls for them will intensify.”
In their Times article, Haberman and Schmidt report that Trump, according to what Bolton says in his book, “wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens.”
But Sunday on Twitter — after the New York Times article was published — Trump insisted, “I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. 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.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, however, tweeted, “John Bolton has the evidence. It’s up to four Senate Republicans to ensure that John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, and the others with direct knowledge of President Trump’s actions testify in the Senate trial.”
I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. I… https://t.co/iB7tF2cr44— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1580102313.0
Many Senate Republicans remain adamantly opposed to featuring any witnesses during Trump’s impeachment trial. But in Axios, Allen, Swan and Treene note, “GOP sources say the revelation could be enough to sway the four Republican senators needed for witnesses — especially since Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine have already strongly signaled they’d vote for witnesses.”
On December 18, Trump was indicted on two articles of impeachment in a full House vote: one for abuse of power, the other for obstruction of Congress. After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave those articles to the U.S. Senate, Trump’s impeachment trial got underway. But it remains to be seen whether or not any witnesses will be featured in the trial.