John Bolton Said He is Prepared to Testify in Senate Trial if Subpoenaed

Politics

Former National security adviser John Bolton gestures while speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former White House national security adviser John Bolton said Monday he is willing to testify — if he is subpoenaed — in the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

Bolton issued a statement after the courts did not rule whether he would be compelled to testify during the House’s impeachment proceedings. The House never subpoenaed Bolton and Democrats withdrew their subpoena for his former deputy after it was challenged in court — as Democrats wanted to move forward with their impeachment probe and not wait for the court’s decision.

“Accordingly, since my testimony is once again at issue, I have had to resolve the serious competing issues as best I could, based on careful consideration and study,” Bolton said in a statement. “I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify.”

Bolton’s statement is likely to put new pressures from Democrats on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow witnesses in the Senate trial, which Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic House leaders have pushed for.

So far, McConnell has resisted Schumer’s calls to have witnesses in the Senate trial, instead calling for an agreement on the rules of the Senate trial that would put off the question of witnesses until later on.

Amid the impasse, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to formally send the two impeachment articles to the Senate after the House passed them last month.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, sought Bolton’s testimony during the House’s impeachment investigation into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. But Bolton’s former deputy, Charles Kupperman, filed a lawsuit after he was subpoenaed, arguing the White House was directing him not to testify and the courts should decide the issue. Instead, the House withdrew its subpoena of Kupperman and did not issue a subpoena for Bolton after his attorney indicated he would go the same route.

Bolton and Kupperman are two of several witnesses that House Democrats sought whom Senate Democrats are now pushing for in the Senate trial, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and White House aide Rob Blair.

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