Trump lawyers set to wrap up arguments as Bolton controversy simmers

Lawrence Kim
January 29, 2020

"If John Bolton says that in the book I believe John Bolton", Kelly said Monday night when asked about the leaked draft manuscript during remarks at the Ringling College Library Association Town Hall lecture series, according to the Herald Tribune of Sarasota, Florida.

But it's not news that Bolton might have opposed efforts to press Ukrainians to investigate Trump's political opponents. It was not until Dershowitz's presentation that the defense addressed the reports.

The NY Times, citing the book, claimed Bolton said he was told about a linkage between military aid and investigations, renewing calls among Democrats to call Bolton to testify in the Senate impeachment trial.

Ken Starr: "Like war, impeachment is hell".

"You can not impeach a president on an unsourced allegation", Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said of Bolton's forthcoming book, "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir", which disputes a key defense assertion.

He's Donald Trump's former national security adviser, who left the White House in September of a year ago after being pushed out by the president.

Later, Graham also took to Twitter to call for the manuscript, writing that it should "be made available to the Senate, if possible, in a classified setting where each Senator has the opportunity to review the manuscript and make their own determination".

The Senate should have sought Bolton's testimony even before the latest news hit.

"Are you going to allow proceedings on impeachment to go from a New York Times report about someone who says what they hear is in a manuscript - is that where we are?" The Senate must now decide whether to acquit Trump or convict and remove him from office.

The lawyers for the defense have presented "a common theme with a dire warning: danger, danger, danger", Trump's attorney Jay Sekulow said Tuesday.

"The bar for impeachment can not be set this low", Sekulow said. "Those of us who lived through the Clinton impeachment, including members of this body, full well understand that a presidential impeachment is tantamount to domestic war". "Let me repeat: Nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, would rise to the level of an abuse of power or an impeachable offense". Maine's Susan Collins said Monday that news about the Bolton book "strengthens the case for witnesses and have prompted a number of conversations among my colleagues".

A vote on whether or not to call witnesses in the trial is expected on Friday. The legal team argued that Trump had legitimate reasons to be suspicious of the younger Biden's business dealings and concerned about corruption in Ukraine and that, in any event, he ultimately released the aid without Ukraine committing to investigations the Republican president wanted. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority. "The White House said there was no direct evidence of communication". After questions, senators will vote whether to call witnesses. But Bolton's statements seems to leave open the possibility that, like the current and former officials who testified in the House, he would speak his piece despite opposition from the White House.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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