A leak of former national security adviser John Bolton’s new book may change the course of Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial. The New York Times reported on Sunday night that a passage of the forthcoming text confirms that a quid pro quo did take place. If the Democrats have their way, the new discovery will help push Senate Republicans to call for impeachment witnesses.
Since the articles of impeachment were voted upon in the House, the question has remained “to call or not to call additional witnesses.” The left has firmly maintained that they are necessary to have a fair trial, but the GOP has downplayed the notion, saying that all witnesses should have been called prior to the case reaching the senate.
Now that Bolton’s book expressly states that Trump told Bolton in August that he wanted to continue holding up $391 million in aid to Ukraine until officials agreed to help him look into Democrats, including the Bidens, Democrats are hoping that the trial takes a turn.
Within hours of the New York Times leaking the explosive content, Trump tweeted, “I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book.”
Trump lawyers have maintained all throughout the senate impeachment trial that there was no quid pro quo when it came to releasing the aid and investigating “corruption” among the Democratic party. Though they have tried to make clear that the two facts are completely separate, Bolton’s book debunks those statements and gives an idea of what the former adviser might say if called.
On Monday, Senator Mitt Romney, when speaking with reporters, called on Bolton to testify after what is being called a “bombshell report.” Romney, when answering a question from NBC’s Kristen Welker, added that it’s “increasingly likely” that other Republicans will join him in asking to hear from Bolton.