A day earlier, Trump's impeachment legal defence team told reporters that they were not concerned about the possibility of Bolton testifying in the impeachment trial. That came after both sides were given three days, respectively, to present their case.
Democrats accuse the president of pressuring Ukraine to investigate political rivals, using a White House meeting and nearly $391 million in military aid as leverage, to boost his 2020 re-election chances. Republican leaders conveyed optimism Wednesday that they would have the votes to defeat the Democrats' attempt to call witnesses and ultimately to acquit the president by the weekend.
"You can not impeach a president on an unsourced allegation", Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said on the Senate floor, referring to reports of Bolton's manuscript.
In one key moment on Wednesday, Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz argued that "if a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment" - effectively arguing that any action taken to aid re-election could be considered to be in the public interest, and therefore not impeachable.
Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July 2019 to "look into" the corruption allegations against the Bidens, noting that Joe Biden bragged in 2018 about events in 2016 that featured the vice president pressuring Ukraine to oust a prosecutor who was probing Hunter Biden's employer, the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings.
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., has suggested a deal whereby Republicans would get to call a witness for every witness called by Democrats. Bolton was asked to testify but was not subpoenaed, with House Democrats arguing that Bolton had made clear he would go to court to fight the subpoena, as one of his close colleagues did.
The president's lawyer, Jay Sekulow, argued on Tuesday, "You can not impeach a president based on an unsourced allegation".
National Security Council (NSC) senior director Ellen Knight said in a letter to Mr Bolton's attorney that following a preliminary review, the "manuscript appears to contain significant amounts of classified information".
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President Donald Trump fired off a pair of tweets Tuesday night ranting about what he called the "impeachment hoax" and "political con job" shortly after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly admitted in a closed-door meeting with GOP lawmakers that he doesn't have the votes to stop witnesses from being called to testify in the ongoing trial.
He also said he made sure his Democratic colleagues were aware of the phone call during the House impeachment inquiry at the end of a year ago. A vote to approve witnesses for the Senate trial is expected to take place Friday.
Trump's legal team sought to minimize the importance of Bolton's allegations and called the manuscript "inadmissible".
"I am encouraging the White House, anybody that I can talk to, to say: That manuscript is pertinent and we should get access to that manuscript to see what they're actually saying", Lankford said in a Facebook video. The Democratic-led House impeached Trump last month.
In a break with his party, Senator Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat whose state strongly backs Trump, said Hunter Biden, like Bolton, would be a relevant witness who should be called.
Trump denied the claim attributed to Bolton. They said he was not bound to abide by the congressional investigation. Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of ME, expressed support for the idea, but have not yet sided firmly with the Democrats.
"You can not impeach a president on an unsourced allegation", Trump's personal lawyer Jay Sekulow told the Senate. James Lankford (R-Okla.). He said the White House should give the Senate Bolton's book manuscript. And some said they simply don't trust Bolton's word.