Reiterating his calls for additional witnesses for the coming Senate impeachment trial, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) seized on a statement Monday by former National Security Advisor John Bolton, in which Bolton said he’d testify without a court fight if subpoenaed by the Senate.
“John Bolton correctly acknowledged that he needs to comply with a Senate subpoena to compel his testimony, if issued,” Schumer said in a statement of his own Monday. “It is now up to four Senate Republicans to support bringing in Mr. Bolton, and the other three witnesses, as well as the key documents we have requested to ensure all the evidence is presented at the onset of a Senate trial.”
Even before Bolton made his offer, Schumer had listed testimony from Bolton and three other top administration aides among his demands for the trial. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has countered that the Senate should follow the example of the Clinton impeachment trial, where decisions on witnesses weren’t made until after the Senate had finished the initial stages of the proceedings. Schumer wants a commitment on witnesses before the trial is started, but, with a 51-vote threshold for affirming trial procedures, he will need four Republicans to join him to secure those subpoenas.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) also weighed in on the news that Bolton would testify under a Senate subpoena without a court fight.
The President & Sen. McConnell have run out of excuses. They must allow key witnesses to testify, and produce the documents Trump has blocked, so Americans can see the facts for themselves.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 6, 2020
Bolton is an important witness to misconduct involving Ukraine that he called a “drug deal.”
Bolton refused to testify in the House, following Trump’s orders.
Now he is willing to come forward. The Senate must allow testimony from him, Mulvaney and others. The coverup must end. https://t.co/3JCaw8W8y3
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 6, 2020
Speaking later to reporters, Schiff didn’t rule out calling Bolton to testify before his committee, but he said the former national security adviser should testify in the Senate trial.
“That makes the most sense,” Schiff said.” Senators ought to hear directly from him, as well as the other witnesses.”
Read Schumer’s full statement on the Bolton offer to testify below:
“Momentum for uncovering the truth in a Senate trial continues. John Bolton correctly acknowledged that he needs to comply with a Senate subpoena to compel his testimony, if issued. It is now up to four Senate Republicans to support bringing in Mr. Bolton, and the other three witnesses, as well as the key documents we have requested to ensure all the evidence is presented at the onset of a Senate trial. Given that Mr. Bolton’s lawyers have stated he has new relevant information to share, if any Senate Republican opposes issuing subpoenas to the four witnesses and documents we have requested they would make absolutely clear they are participating in a cover up.”