KEY POINTS

  • Sen. Romney (R-Utah) said he wants Bolton to testify to learn "what he knows"
  • The former national security advisor John Bolton said Monday he would comply with a subpoena
  • Majority Leader McConnell has said he is firmly against allowing witness testimony

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) broke with Senate Republican leadership and told reporters that he would be open to having former national security advisor John Bolton testify.

According to The Hill, Romney said he “would like to be able to hear from John Bolton. What the process is to make that happen, I don’t have an answer for you” adding that he would be interested in learning “what [Bolton] knows.”

On Monday, Bolton issued a statement that said that he would be willing to testify during the Senate’s impeachment trial if he were subpoenaed. During the House’s impeachment inquiry, Democrats sought to question Bolton, however, he was not subpoenaed and ultimately did not appear as a witness.

It’s also not just Bolton who has said he would be willing to testify before the Senate. Over the weekend, Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said he’d also be willing to take the stand if asked.

With Romney being the first Senate Republican to voice his desire to hear from Bolton, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) might be starting to lose ground in his push to have all witness testimony excluded from the trial. He and other Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), have said that testimonies would be unnecessary as they have already made the decision to vote to acquit President Donald Trump. Now, between Romney and Bolton, McConnell is in the tough position of trying to justify his witness ban.

Neither Bolton nor Giuliani have testified during the impeachment process so far. If Democrats do succeed in calling both as witnesses during the trial, it would likely have a profound impact on the case to remove Trump from the White House.

Senate Democrats are also hoping to subpoena three others, including White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. To secure these subpoenas, however, Democrats will need to enlist the support of at least four Republicans, but so far Romney appears to be the only Republican open to this route.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has yet to release the articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial. She has said that before she does that, Senate Republicans will need to agree to various trial rules, including permitting witness testimony.