Bolton’s reported account of his exchange with Trump challenges arguments made by the president’s legal team in the Senate impeachment trial. Trump’s lawyers on Saturday said there was no evidence to suggest the president’s withholding of Ukraine’s military aid was related to his pursuit of a probe into the Bidens.
It also highlights the importance of witnesses in the proceedings as Republicans and Democrats gear up to determine this week whether to allow sworn testimony from Bolton and others. Bolton has indicated to lawmakers that he will testify if needed, despite Trump’s order banning his former and current aides from cooperating in the investigation, which he has repeatedly dismissed as a “witch hunt.”
Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
Democrats need four—any four—Republicans to vote with them to subpoena witnesses for Trump’s Senate impeachment trial. Senate Republicans continued to defend Trump on Sunday while criticizing their Democratic colleagues’ calls for witnesses to appear in the trial.
In an interview on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures With Maria Bartiromo, Senator Lindsey Graham claimed that witnesses would further bring chaos to the proceedings. “What do we do?” he said. “Delay the trial so the president can go to court? Or do we as the Senate destroy the president’s ability to go to court—a bad spot to be in in the Senate … If we seek witnesses, then we’re going to throw the country into chaos.”