Published: Mon, January 27, 2020
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Trump Told Bolton Ukraine Aid Contingent on Probe Into Democratic Rivals

Trump Told Bolton Ukraine Aid Contingent on Probe Into Democratic Rivals

House impeachment managers stepped up calls for witnesses in the Trump impeachment trial after the New York Times reported that former National Security Adviser John Bolton's forthcoming book directly contradicts Trump's claim that held-up USA military aid was not tied to demands that Ukraine investigate his political opponent, Joe Biden.

The revelation challenges the defense offered up by Trump and his attorneys in his Senate impeachment trial and raises the stakes as the chamber decided this week whether to seek sworn testimony from Bolton and other witnesses.

The newspaper cites several people who have seen the Bolton manuscript as its source.

"Period." Bolton's lawyer, Charles Cooper, said in a statement "it is clear, regrettably, from The New York Times article published today that the prepublication review process has been corrupted and that information has been disclosed by persons other than those properly involved in reviewing the manuscript".

Those facts wholly destroy the president's defense which his legal team have been arguing before and now during his Senate impeachment trial.

Jones made the comments soon after The New York Times reported that Bolton writes in his upcoming book that the president wanted to tie up aid to Ukraine approved by Congress until Kyiv agreed to help investigate Trump's political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, for alleged corruption. White House counsel Pat Cipollone said Trump's lawyers don't expect to take the full 24 hours allotted to them, but there will be arguments from some familiar faces.

'The problem with John is it´s a national security problem, ' Trump said. The revelation, just before the trial resumes Monday afternoon, might make it extraordinarily hard for Trump's defense team to continue that line of defense.

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'John Bolton has the evidence, ' tweeted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Senate Republicans' refusal to hear Bolton or other witnesses and documents is "now even more indefensible".

Four Republicans would need to break ranks and vote with Democrats in order for witnesses to be called, and the report has only added fuel to the Democrats' call for witnesses.

If that happens, expect a bitter fight over which witnesses might be called and which documents might be subpoenaed. "If we can't get Bolton let's get a subpoena for the book!"

With Republicans holding a 53-47 majority in the Senate, it is unlikely that the president will be removed from office. The aid was eventually released, but Trump's actions formed the basis of his impeachment.

In his August 2019 discussion with Mr. Bolton, the newspaper said Mr. Trump appeared focused on the theories Giuliani had shared with him and had replied to Boltons question that he preferred sending no assistance to Ukraine until officials had turned over all materials they had about the investigation that related to Mr. Biden and supporters of Ms. Clinton in Ukraine.

The lawyers revealed the broad outlines of their defence in a rare but truncated Saturday session, where they accused House Democrats of using the impeachment case to try to undo the results of the last presidential election and drive Trump from office. "I don't know how my Republican colleagues can not call for witnesses." she said while campaigning in Iowa.

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