GOP Senators grapple with calls for Bolton to testify at Trump trial

ajc.com

A day after reports that former Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton had submitted a book manuscript to the White House for review in late December which included passages that might contradict the assertions of President Donald Trump with regards to the Ukraine investigation, some GOP Senators on Monday quickly opened the door to approving testimony by Bolton in the President's impeachment trial.

"I think it's increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those of us who think we should hear from John Bolton," Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) told reporters on Capitol Hill.

"The reports about John Bolton's book strengthen the case for witnesses and have prompted a number of conversations among my colleagues," said Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).

The rapidly unfolding developments came as the White House continued to try to ward off the idea of opening the President's trial to witnesses, which had seemed to be less and less of a possibility - until the Bolton story broke on Sunday night.

Democrats, who have been calling for testimony by Bolton, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and others who refused to appear before the House impeachment investigation, urged voters to swamp GOP offices with calls demanding witnesses.

“Keep. Calling.” tweeted Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI).

“This is stunning,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer in a news conference at the Capitol.

“How can Senate Republicans not vote to call that witness and request his documents?” Schumer told reporters.

Many GOP Senators had said little about the Bolton news, and that continued as they arrived back at the Capitol for the resumption of the President's impeachment trial.

“To me, the facts of the case remain the same,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) at a GOP news conference which was scheduled, cancelled, and then scheduled again with a smaller cast of Republicans.

“It really doesn't change anything in terms of the process,” said Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) at the same event.

But there were hints of turmoil inside GOP ranks, as Sen. Kelly Loeffler R-GA blasted Romney on Twitter, accusing him of trying to 'appease the left' by considering testimony from Bolton, which Loeffler said would be used to 'slander' President Trump.

Explore“The circus is over,” Loeffler tweeted.

“There seems to be a giant cover up among so many leading people in the White House,” Schumer added.

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