Trump Trial Enters Pivotal Week as Calls for Witnesses Grow

U.S. President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial enters a pivotal week on Monday as his lawyers resume their defense following a fresh report that could intensify pressure on Senate Republicans to call former national security adviser John Bolton to testify.

The New York Times cited an unpublished Bolton manuscript as saying that Trump told him he wanted to freeze security aid to Ukraine until its officials helped with investigations into Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden.

The elder Biden is a leading Democratic contender to face the Republican president in the Nov. 3 U.S. election. Hunter Biden worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was vice president.

The report, which did not quote the manuscript but cited multiple people describing Bolton’s account, may undercut a key element of Trump’s defense: that there was no quid pro quo when he asked Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, in a July phone call.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump’s team has previously said he was well within his constitutional authority to press Zelenskiy to investigate the Bidens as part of what he says was an anti-corruption drive. The Bidens deny wrongdoing.

In only the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history, Democrats argued last week that Trump should be removed for encouraging Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 U.S. election by pressuring its leader to dig up dirt on Biden.

Trump’s defense tried to turn that election interference line against the Democrats in its opening argument on Saturday by warning against removing a president less than 10 months before Americans vote on whether to give him a second term.

While the Republican-controlled Senate is highly unlikely to remove Trump from office, it is important for him to try to blunt the Democratic accusations to limit political damage to his bid for a second term.

The report drew immediate Democratic demands that the Senate call Bolton as a witness, an issue the 100-member chamber is likely to address later in the week.

The impeachment trial rules provide for a two-step process on whether to subpoena witness and documents, with an initial vote on whether to consider doing so and, if approved, subsequent votes to actually call witnesses or demand documents.

Democrats argue this could allow Republicans have it both ways – allowing them to first vote “yes” on whether to proceed and then vote “no” on actually allowing witnesses or documents.

As a result, vulnerable Senate Republicans could make the case to moderates that they had voted in favor of witnesses in the first vote while avoiding alienating Trump supporters by refusing to actually call any in later votes.

If the Senate called witnesses or demanded documents, the trial could lengthen. If not, the Senate could vote toward the end of the week on whether to remove Trump from office.

If that were to happen the trial could be over before the first U.S. voting contest takes place in Iowa on Feb. 3 and before Trump is scheduled to deliver the annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 4.

(Additional Reporting by Pete Schroeder, Arshad Mohammed and Tim Ahmann; Writing Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

Responses

  1. No idiot confuction, fascism is an extreme version of socialism!!!!! Again you prove to everyone here just what an ignorant fool you are. Do you not know what Nazi stands for ???? NATIONAL SOCIALIST PARTY

    1. Just because you repeat a lie often doesn’t make it true.

  2. Sorry confuction but it is your party that totalitarian and the includes fascism. You just cannot think for yourself can you. Do not put on us what your party is made of. That would be one party rule or totalitarianism.

    1. You just won’t stop with the projection, will you? That earns you an updated nickname, Bob The Projectionist.

      Fascism is an extreme version of capitalism. That’s on you and your Dear Leader and his party. Trying to project that onto me will NOT work.

  3. “REELECT TRUMP IN 2020 TO SAVE AMERICA FROM THE FASCIST WANNABE DICTATORS.” Confused James The Projectionist

    You are earning yourself an updated nickname, Confused James The Projectionist.

    The only wannabe fascist dictator that we have is Dear Leader. If anyone wants to save us from having a wannabe fascist dictator, then do not vote for one.

    #outnow “refusefascism.org”

    And if you actually want people to read your replies to comments, then figure out how they DON’T work.

    1. Like yours don’t work. You really need to change your name to totally confused. You need to change your tune, everyone but you seems to know that the democrats are the fascists and Nancy Pelosy acted more like a dictator than the president. Head of the KGB appears to be Adam Schiff.

  4. They (Democrats/Deep State Cabal) are playing RIGHT into the hands of Trump and his defense team, and the Republicans. And they don’t even realize it. By PUSHING for witnesses, it allows for the Republicans to call both Bidens, Adam Schiff, and the whistleblower in as witnesses, to repudiate Bolton’s claims. And once those 4 are on the witness stand, they are under OATH to testify to the truth and nothing but the truth. This is what Trump wants, so that EVERYONE in the world, who is watching, will hear and see the truth… and that it is the Democrats/Deep State Cabal who are the criminals, not him and his administration. BOOMERANG!

    1. Rhonda, You are so funny. If only your ideas weren’t so anti-American. How can you live with yourself ? And a family? I can only hope!

      1. Join the discussion…The only anti-American I see here is you baal paul and your buddies michael (with a capital B), syphilis and confuction.

  5. Apparently ‘overwhelming evidence’ has a much different definition for democrats. Another what ‘IS’ is. Followed by, “I did not have conversations with that witness”. As usual, I am underwhelmed by the Dems.

  6. NO more opinion or fact witnesses. The Schiff Show had plenty of opportunity to call witnesses for their charade; but already had “overwhelming evidence” and didn’t need any more. NOW that they found they have a nothingburger, they want the Senate to do their job? END this circus and send the D’RAT clowns back to their barrels.

    1. No, James, not before we drag the evidence before the world who are the real criminals. This is what the DIMMs are afraid of, and why they kept everything behind closed doors, so that their followers, like ‘General Confusion’, are kept in the dark about the real corruption, which is the DIMMs. This is Trump’s plan, all along. He’s been pushing the DIMMs into an impeachment trial since he was inaugurated, to prove it to be so.

    2. Actually, no, James. Our fearful leader, the inestimable Donnie Trump, blocked all subpoened witnesses from testifying. Once a coward, always a coward. Try harder next time, James.

    3. Actually, James, Big ol Donnie blocked any witnesses to testify. Better luck next time, good buddy.

  7. With Bolton’s latest revelation that the quid pro quo was real only shows how desperate the haters will go to disparage the President. Bolton is furious that he was fired AND he wants to sell his book. This whole waste of money only shows how ridiculous and transparent (probably the only thing in DC that is) the Democrats are. Where’s old Nancy in all of this????

    1. “Where’s old Nancy in all of this?” Cherl

      Considering that the impeachment trial of the president in now in the Senate, THAT is confusing.

      1. You really believe that Nancy has disappeared behind the curtain while the Senate trial is going on. She should be out there supporting the prosecution’s case! But no, she’s disappeared. Wonder if she’s already been arrested and on her way to GITMO for her own military tribunal as an ‘enemy combatant’… that exchange at Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing between Senator Lindsey Graham and Kavanaugh ring a bell? They were giving clues as to what was going to happen to those involved in a coup attempt against a duly elected president. And as I said, your IQ is lower than a cockroach, because it went RIGHT over your head.

    2. Actually, Cherl. Bolton’s testimony may be the only thing that breaks the blockage that the Trumpeteers have put up. Perhaps the truth may come up, and finally show what Trump is too cowardly to reveal. It must be a whole lot!

  8. This “trial” could have been ended on Saturday at 1:05 PM with a vote to acquit since the Schiff -Sham-Show provided no evidence of a crime. BUT, it’s is enlightening to see the President’s defense team PROVE the D’RAT circus was nothing but a LYING DNC political campaign at ALL the taxpayers expense.

    REELECT TRUMP IN 2020 TO SAVE AMERICA FROM THE FASCIST WANNABE DICTATORS.

    1. “REELECT TRUMP IN 2020 TO SAVE AMERICA FROM THE FASCIST WANNABE DICTATORS.” Confused James The Projectionist

      You are earning yourself an updated nickname, Confused James The Projectionist.

      The only wannabe fascist dictator that we have is Dear Leader. If anyone wants to save us from having a wannabe fascist dictator, then don’t vote for one.

      #outnow “refusefascism.org”

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