Published: Tue, January 28, 2020
Culture | By Margie Dunn

Romney: 'Increasingly Likely' GOP Senators to Call for Bolton to Testify

Romney: 'Increasingly Likely' GOP Senators to Call for Bolton to Testify

President Donald Trump's legal team will continue its defense during the impeachment trial Monday hours after leaked portions of an upcoming book by former national security advisor appeared to undercut some of the team's arguments.

The New York Times reported Sunday evening that in last summer's conversation, Trump directly tied the holdup of almost $400 million in military assistance to the investigations into former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

Trump defense attorney Kenneth Starr called the Democratic-led House of Representatives "a runaway House" in a rush to impeach the US leader last month, "dripping with fundamental process violations" in its allegedly unfair treatment of Trump. The makeup of the chamber has focused attention on just a few Republicans who are considered open to breaking from the party ranks and voting with Democrats. "President Trump's cover-up must come to an end". He told the New York Times that the White House has been in possession of Bolton's manuscript since December 30, when it was turned over for review to determine if there was classified information in the manuscript, a routine procedure for books written by former government employees. "In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination", Mr. Trump tweeted on Monday.

Significantly, Schiff raised the threat only at the end of his interview, spending most of his time on the program defending United States intelligence agencies against criticisms made by Trump's defense counsel during the two-hour Senate session on Saturday morning, where the defense began its rebuttal of the House impeachment case. Still, the White House sees its Senate presentation this week as an opportunity to counter the allegations, defend the powers of the presidency and prevent Trump from being weakened politically ahead of November's election.

With Republicans holding a 53-47 majority in the Senate, it is unlikely that the president will be removed from office. Trump denied those reported claims.

There has been no comment from Mr Bolton's lawyers, nor from the White House. Bolton now suggests Trump was indeed telling people privately that the withheld military aid was part of a quid pro quo - a quid pro quo which European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified that he communicated to the Ukrainians. Defence team members, like the Democratic House managers prosecuting the case last week, will have a total of 24 hours to make their case. Trump's team would nearly certainly raise objections based on executive privilege, the Supreme Court-endorsed separation-of-powers principle that Congress should not be able to force the administration to reveal what the president and his top advisors discussed. The other alleges that Trump obstructed Congress by directing aides to not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. The report by The New York Times was later confirmed by The Associated Press.

Trump has already lied many times about the "perfect phone call" where he conditioned aid to Ukraine on a Biden investigation, so he kept up tradtion following the revelations from the Times, and started lying immediately in response.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said that "at this stage it's pretty fair to say that John Bolton has a relevant testimony", while Sen.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted that lead impeachment manager, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., "has not paid the price, yet, for what he had done to our country!"

An attempt to call either probably would lead to a showdown with the White House, which claims both men have "absolute immunity" from being called to testify before the Senate, even in an impeachment trial.

In this image from video, Kenneth Starr, an attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks during Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate at the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 27, 2020.

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