KEY POINTS

  • New comments from former UN Amb. John Bolton could influence Senate impeachment trial
  • Democrats are trying to get frour Senate Republicans to vote for witnesses
  • Second part of trial is set to begin this week 

Explosive new comments from former UN ambassador John Bolton could give Senate democrats some much-needed momentum in their quest to have witnesses testify at Trump’s Impeachment trial. The comments concern Trump’s handling of military aid to Ukraine, and whether or not it was held up pending the Ukrainian government’s agreements to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Politico reports that, in the first draft of his upcoming book, Bolton wrote that Trump told him that critical military aid to Ukraine would remain suspended until the country complied with the investigations. The revelations just hours before Trump’s legal team prepared for the second day of his defense in the Impeachment trial. They could significantly derail Trump’s lawyers’ efforts to pain his attitude toward Ukraine as one of ready and amiable cooperation.

House Democrats demanded that Bolton testify, but Bolton had refused. Citing the President’s orders that he and other key aides refrain from offering testimony. The orders eventually led to the House adding the second Article of Impeachment of Obstruction of Congress to the final count. Since the trial started, they and Senate Democrats have been locked in a battle against Republicans to have witnesses testify.

Democrats are hoping that Bolton’s new comments will help them persuade the four Republican Senators they need to call their witnesses. House impeachment managers say the report breathes new life into the proceedings and it “confirms what we already know” and “directly contradicts the heart” of the defense that Trump’s lawyers have mounted at the trial — that Trump’s decision to suspend the military aid reflected his desire for other countries to chip in.

“There is no defensible reason to wait until his book is published, when the information he has to offer is critical to the most important decision senators must now make — whether to convict the president of impeachable offenses,” they added. The efforts are expected to be ramped up this week as the second part of the trial begins.

Former US National Security Adviser John Bolton said North Korea posed an "imminent" threat Former US National Security Adviser John Bolton said North Korea posed an "imminent" threat Photo: AFP / Sergei GAPON