President Donald Trump's legal team will continue its defense during the impeachment trial Monday hours after leaked portions of an upcoming book by former national security advisor appeared to undercut some of the team's arguments.
Trump himself also directly denied on Monday that he told Bolton the temporary freeze on aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations of his political opponents, saying in a tweet that Bolton "never complained about this at the time of his very public termination".
On Sunday night, House impeachment managers led by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) reiterated their call for Bolton's testimony in the Senate trial after their Democratic allies in the Senate were unable to secure enough votes to compel witnesses last week. Chuck Schumer, the Senate's top Democrat, issued the same call.
In the unpublished book, Bolton reportedly alleges that other administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, were made aware of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani's unusual involvement in a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine well before it became a central element of the whistleblower complaint at the heart of the impeachment inquiry. And if these Senators don't let witnesses testify, how can they claim any sort of integrity when they face reelection?
A second consecutive Fox News poll shows half of Americans believe President Donald Trump should be removed from office. "No White House personnel outside NSC have reviewed the manuscript", the statement said. Trump's legal team has repeatedly insisted otherwise, and Trump tweeted on Monday that he never told Bolton such a thing.
"The Senate trial must seek the full truth and Mr. Bolton has vital information to provide", the House impeachment managers said in a statement. Finally, the leadership aides say, Republicans at all levels have asked themselves if Bolton is trying to settle scores with his former boss. With support from his Republican base remaining solid, Trump's defenders have gone so far as to suggest that no one cares about Ukraine and even if Trump did put the screws on Kyiv, it is within his powers as a President - a line of argument dubbed the imperial defense.
Republicans make up 53 of the 100 seats in the Senate and a simple majority is needed to call new witnesses. Trump denied those reported claims.
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They ended the performance collectively with a picture of Hussle and Kobe Bryant , who died Sunday morning, on the screen. The rapper tweeted after the tribute, "Letter to nip- every cent from this song made will go to Nipsey's family! ".
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Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, claimed Democrats' push to remove Trump from office is aimed at overturning the result of the 2016 election, and "tearing up [voters'] ballots" months before the 2020 election.
House impeachment manager Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) speaks during impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on January 22, 2020.
Bolton, a ferocious militarist and advocate of the 2003 Iraq war, was sacked by Trump in early September under murky circumstances, which appear to include his opposition to the temporary freeze on aid to Ukraine, which apparently disrupted a planned military offensive in eastern Ukraine against Russian-backed separatist forces.
The Trump team has also teased the notion that it would draw attention to Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukraine gas company Burisma, while the elder Biden was vice-president.
"I think it's increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those of us who think we should hear from John Bolton", Romney, who represents Utah, told reporters on Monday.
That's why, as was evident when Trump's lawyers began their arguments over the weekend during the Senate's impeachment trial, "get over it" will nearly certainly be the main takeaway of the Trump defense.
Sen. John Thune, a member of GOP leadership, said the Bolton news is a "surprising" development for many of his colleagues and that most are "keeping their powder dry" at this point.