President Trump’s allies in the Senate signaled Monday that they would be willing to agree to a subpoena of John Bolton if the president’s defense team is allowed to call preferred witnesses, including Hunter Biden and the whistleblower.
News broke Sunday that the former national security adviser reportedly heard Trump saying that his withholding of Ukrainian military aid was conditioned on a public announcement by Ukrainian investigators to explore corruption allegations against the Bidens, according to a draft of Bolton’s upcoming memoir.
The bombshell prompted some Republicans, including Mitt Romney and Susan Collins, to suggest they would be open to hearing from Bolton in Trump’s impeachment trial.
Other Republicans took a different tone to the news, falling behind Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) and echoing his insistence that Republicans allow Trump to call his preferred witnesses.
Paul slammed Bolton on Twitter Monday night, implying the leak was profit-related — a claim Bolton categorically denies.
Why didn’t John Bolton testify to the US House? Apparently his book wasn’t quite finished yet for presales!
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 27, 2020
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) confirmed he would call for both witnesses, despite revealing last week that he would oppose calling the Bidens.
“Those are the ones that I want to call,” Graham said of Hunter Biden and the whistleblower. “If we add to the record, we are going to do it completely.”
If there is a desire and decision by the Senate to call Democratic witnesses, then at a minimum the Senate should allow President @realDonaldTrump to call all relevant witnesses he has requested.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 27, 2020
Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) told Fox & Friends that “my view is this — if the Senate decides to call witnesses later this week . . . we need to hear from Hunter Biden, he is right at the center of this. What was he doing in Ukraine? What was he doing with Burisma?”
I say again: if the Senate is going to call witnesses, then I will ask to hear from Adam Schiff, Hunter Biden, Joe Biden & the whistleblower, at a minimum pic.twitter.com/rNrfUmprNc
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 27, 2020
The Washington Post reported Monday afternoon that Senator Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) was weighing a possible Bolton-for-Biden “one-for-one” witness deal, which he had discussed with Romney and others.
Toomey’s proposal comes after intense speculation last week that Democrats may consider a possible deal on witnesses, which was first floated as “witness reciprocity” by Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas), only for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and others to shoot it down.
When asked about a potential deal on Monday, Cruz said “additional witnesses are not necessary,” but added that “at a minimum, the most important witness for the Senate to hear from is now Hunter Biden.”
Sen. Ted Cruz says he doesn’t think additional witnesses should be called for impeachment trial and that testimony from John Bolton is not “necessary” https://t.co/iwYPRsRtGP pic.twitter.com/GtxEy4Mi9o
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 27, 2020