Trump Attacks Bolton as Senate Enters New Phase in Impeachment Trial

President Donald Trump unleashed his sharpest attack yet on John Bolton after his former national security adviser depicted Trump as playing a central role in a politically motivated pressure campaign on Ukraine, as the U.S. Senate prepared on Wednesday to enter a new phase in the president’s impeachment trial.

Senators will begin up to two days of posing questions to both Trump’s legal team and the Democrats in the House of Representatives lawmakers who have served as prosecutors in the trial on charges of abusing power and obstructing Congress arising from his request that Ukraine investigate political rival Joe Biden.

The questioning precedes a crucial vote later in the week on whether to call witnesses including Bolton, as Democrats have sought. Senate Republicans so far have refused to allow any witnesses or new evidence in the trial, with Republican leaders hoping to vote as quickly as possible to acquit Trump, leaving him in office.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told senators on Tuesday he did not have the votes to block Democrats from calling witnesses because some Republicans remained uncommitted, several media outlets reported. Democrats need four Republican senators to join them in voting for witnesses in order to get a majority in the 100-seat Senate.

The Senate is expected to acquit Trump. Removing him from office would take a two-thirds majority. There are 53 Republican senators and none of them has publicly advocated removal. The Democratic-led House impeached Trump last month.

Trump lashed out at Bolton on Twitter. The president said Bolton “couldn’t get approved for the Ambassador to the U.N. years ago, couldn’t get approved for anything since, ‘begged’ me for a non Senate approved job” and added that “if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now.”

Trump added that Bolton, who left his White House post in September, “goes out and IMMEDIATELY writes a nasty & untrue book. All Classified National Security. Who would do this?”

Contradicting Trump’s version of events, Bolton wrote in an unpublished book manuscript that the president told him he wanted to freeze $391 million in security aid to Ukraine until Kiev pursued investigations into Democrats, including Biden and the former vice president’s son Hunter Biden, the New York Times reported.

Bolton’s allegations go to the heart of impeachment charges against Trump. Democrats have said Trump abused his power by using the security aid – passed by Congress to help Ukraine battle Russia-backed separatists – as leverage to get a foreign power to smear a political rival.

Trump is seeking re-election on Nov. 3. Biden is a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination to face Trump.

‘TIME FOR THIS TO END’

Trump has denied telling Bolton he sought to use the aid as leverage to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Trump has said he fired Bolton. Bolton, a foreign policy hawk who served as a temporary “recess appointee” as American ambassador to the United Nations under Republican former President George W. Bush, has said he quit.

The questions during the trial will alternate between Republican and Democratic senators. They will be submitted in writing and read aloud by U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial.

The questions will take up to eight hours a day over Wednesday and Thursday. There is no time limit on the answers, which cannot be challenged by senators, Senate aides said.

Trump’s legal team wrapped up its third and final day of opening arguments in the trial on Tuesday, saying that the president did not commit any impeachable offenses even if what Bolton said was true.

Trump’s legal team sought to minimize the importance of Bolton’s allegations and called the manuscript “inadmissible.”

“It is time for this to end, here and now,” White House Counsel Pat Cipollone told the Senate.

The Senate is expected to turn on Friday to a debate and vote on whether to call witnesses in the trial. Republican senators met privately after Tuesday’s trial session to discuss calling witnesses, but said afterward there was no resolution.

Trump urged Republicans to stand firm against witnesses, writing on Twitter: “Don’t let the Dems play you!”

Senator Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat whose state strongly backs Trump, said it was critical to have witnesses and that he had yet to decide whether to acquit Trump, saying the two days of questioning would help him decide.

In a break with his party, Manchin also said Hunter Biden, like Bolton, would be a relevant witness who should be called. Republicans oppose calling any witnesses but have said they would want to hear from Hunter Biden if witnesses are permitted.

Hunter Biden had worked for a Ukrainian energy company when his father was vice president. Trump has made unsubstantiated allegations of corruption against the Bidens.

In an interview with MSNBC, Manchin said that “being afraid to put up anybody who might have pertinent information is wrong, whether you’re Democrat or Republican.”

(Reporting by Richard Cowan, David Morgan, Patricia Zengerle, Susan Heavey, Susan Cornwell, Makini Brice, Karen Freifeld, Lisa Lambert and Lisa Richwine; Writing by Will Dunham; Editing by Peter Cooney and Howard Goller)

Responses

  1. GCO: “ “WHY then does the National Security Council clearly state there is Top Secret information in the Bolton manuscript?”

    Answer: Because Adam Schitt is head of the Council as well as being a compulsive liar.

    If there was too secret information in the manuscript it will never see the light of day. You apparently never saw the video describing the Phone call to the Ukraine as “warm and cordial” Which is it? A devastating Bolton testimony or a warm and fuzzy call?

    The libs HATED Bolton before they thought he would turn on President Trump. They’ll hate him again when he doesn’t turn on Trump.

  2. “WHY then does the National Security Council clearly state there is Top Secret information in the Bolton manuscript?” Confused James The Projectionist

    You are confused, Confused James The Projectionist.

    They can say whatever the hell they want. Doesn’t make any of it true. What makes you think that Bolton would be dumb enough to include content that would get banned? I mean, I have no sympathies for Bolton at all, but even I know he wouldn’t do that.

    The NSC just want (or more likely were told) to stop fascist KDTL from being embarrassed. THAT is the only national security issue.

  3. Go ST

    The GCO is still referring to DJT as “loser” even as he supports “the Bern” who never emerged from his mom’s basement until he turned 40. Then, GCO’s hero, BS (appropriate), only got his job by appealing to malcontent losers like him. None of them capable of succeeding on their own merits, or having the guts to steal from the successful like gangbangers would. GCO and his wimps prefer to hide in the shadows and support a useless representative of the useless to steal money for them via the government.

  4. “Gawd! Trump assails (look that word up, conservatives) anyone who says anything that insults his ego. Give it a bit of time: Mr. Mustache will be proven right.” Paul

    That’s what I thought when he first hinted that he WANTED, desperately, to testify. Dear Leader just said that Bolton’s book is a security risk (even though Bolton knows well how to vet info) just so that he can eliminate any advantage it could offer Bolton.

    King Donald The Loser is the national cuck-machine.

    1. WHY then does the National Security Council clearly state there is Top Secret information in the Bolton manuscript? Just keep up the slander. You repeatedly show what an anti-American, Fascism- supporting asshole everyone here knew you to be. I hear Venezuela is nice this time of year for Commie scumbags.

  5. To mouthbreather Paul,

    Boohoo. Your slander betrays your prejudice. You ain’t exactly a lexicographer yourself you moron. Thought exercise for you; substitute “blacks” or “gays” for conservatives. Suddenly it’s bigotry. Imagine that. Oh wait, you lack that intellectual depth.

    Explain EXACTLY how taking the offensive in defense against lies is an assault (sharing roots with assail).

    One might term you a TDS asshole. (shares NO roots but is correct in sentiment).

    1. Screwball,

      When you accept “truth” from a professed lying racist “leader” of the free world, then there may be no help for you.

  6. Some support Trump BECAUSE he doesn’t roll over and piss himself, much like the old Republitard establisment. Or Mitt Romney.

    Bolton is disgruntled. Obviously. He got fired. That’s someone with every motivation to make shit up. Omarosa anyone?

    1. King Donald The Loser is afraid of the one person who has the best chance of defeating him – Bernie Sanders. He admitted that in the 2016 campaign, so nothing has lessened that threat in the meantime.

      “The only one I didn’t want (Hillary Clinton) to pick.” speaking about her running mate.

  7. Gawd! Trump assails (look that word up, conservatives) anyone who says anything that insults his ego. Give it a bit of time: Mr. Mustache will be proven right.

    1. Boohoo. Your slander betrays your prejudice. You ain’t exactly a lexicographer yourself you moron. Thought exercise for you; substitute “blacks” or “gays” for conservatives. Suddenly it’s bigotry. Imagine that.

      Explain EXACTLY how taking the offensive in defense against lies is an assault (sharing roots with assail).

      One might term you a TDS asshole. (shares NO roots but is correct in sentiment).

  8. Bolton is a turncoat and expects the President to do exactly what ha wants.

  9. Bolton is butt hurt. He spent his career being a war monger and President Trump was impeding it. If anything is transparent it is Bolton’s revelation in an effort to sell his book and get even with Trump for firing him. But then isn’t everyone in DC writing one lately? Why didn’t he step up and tell Schiff during the Senate hearings? Because Schiff thought he would orchestrate the perfect moment.
    Career politicians like Collins and Romney better watch out. Romney is so full of hate that even his religion of love, peace and forgiveness, which are the center of LDS Church doctrine and practice, can’t get him past his hate.

    1. Cherl, in your case, “butt-hurt” may not be the most appropriate appellation. Trump, the military coward, is the one who has tried to justify all of the incursions that we have participated in. Oh, no! There has not been any injuries in the last bombings! Only 35 and counting. But then he doesn’t believe in fake news, even to fake sympathies to fallen family members.

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