WASHINGTON (CBS News) — As President Trump’s attorneys resume defense arguments in his Senate impeachment trial, new revelations about the president’s attempts to get Ukraine to investigate his rivals reverberated through the Capitol, ramping up pressure on the Senate to allow new witnesses.
On Sunday, The New York Times reported former national security adviser John Bolton wrote in a manuscript of his upcoming book that Mr. Trump explicitly refused to release nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine in 2019 unless the country pursued investigations into his political rivals, including the Bidens. The Times reported Bolton had submitted the manuscript to the White House for a standard prepublication review for classified information.
Democrats seized on the report to accuse the White House of a cover-up and to urge Republican senators to join them in supporting a subpoena for Bolton, who has said he’s willing to testify. Several Republican senators who have been open to hearing new testimony reiterated their view that witnesses should be called, including Mitt Romney and Susan Collins.
Bolton’s reported accusations directly contradict the argument put forward by Mr. Trump’s attorneys, namely that there was no connection between the delay in aid and the president’s requests for investigations. Bolton would be the first official to testify that the president personally connected the two issues.
The president denied Bolton’s account in several late-night tweets, saying he never told Bolton the aid was tied to investigations and accusing his former aide of trying to sell his book.
A vote on whether to allow the consideration of subpoenas won’t come until later in the week. Going into Monday, Mr. Trump’s legal team had 22 hours left for their presentations over two days, but the attorneys have said they don’t plan to use all of their allotted time.
Sixteen hours of questions will follow the defense team’s arguments, after which the Senate will debate and vote on whether to consider motions on subpoenas for witnesses and documents.