Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota on Tuesday said the newly reported claim from John R. Bolton about his conversation with President Trump on Ukraine puts more pressure on GOP senators to support calling the former national security adviser as a witness in the Senate impeachment trial.
“Of course I do, and I think we’re starting to hear that,” Ms. Klobuchar, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
She pointed to Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine as expressing openness to hearing from witnesses.
“All we need is two more,” Ms. Klobuchar said. “And I literally am sitting a few yards from them and I just keep looking at them and thinking, whatever you do on the vote on impeachment, whatever you think, you cannot deny a fair trial to the people of America.”
“That’s going to be the big vote for me: Do they think of themselves as people that serve [at] the pleasure of the president, or people that serve out of respect for the people that sent them to Washington?” she said.
Ms. Klobuchar said some senators have said things are “circumstantial.”
“Then there are others that clearly look troubled and know that the weight of history is on their shoulders and that this isn’t just going to come out five years from now — this is going to come out five weeks from now,” she said. “And if they will have denied a witness and then this comes out, I don’t know how they deal with it. I think they have to do the right thing.”
According to The New York Times, Mr. Bolton said in an unpublished manuscript that President Trump said he didn’t want to release $391 million in military aid to Ukraine until the country’s leaders helped with investigations into Democrats, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, his political rival.
The aid is at the heart of Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial. The president stands accused of abuse of power for improperly withholding the assistance to try to prod Ukraine to open the investigations and obstruction of Congress for failing to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry.
The president has denied telling Mr. Bolton that the aid was tied to investigations and has described his impeachment as a hoax.
On Monday, Trump defense attorney Alan Dershowitz said that even if true, the new revelations tied to Mr. Bolton wouldn’t rise to the level of an impeachable offense.