- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Some Republican senators are calling for the Bolton book manuscript ahead of this week’s decisive vote on whether or not witnesses should testify in the impeachment trial.

In a Facebook live video Monday evening, Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford encouraged former National Security Advisor John Bolton not to wait for a subpoena if he has information to share and said senators should have classified access to his unpublished manuscript.

“I think getting that information first hand would be really important for us. John Bolton is no shrinking violet,” he said. “I’ve never seen him be shy about anything ever. So my encouragement would be if John Bolton got’s something to say, there’s plenty of microphones all over the country that he should step forward and start talking about it right now.”

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, echoed Mr. Lankford’s request Tuesday morning, saying senators should be able to review the content and “make their own determination.”



The New York Times reported Sunday that Mr. Bolton claims in a forthcoming book that the president, in an August 2019 discussion, railed about Ukraine’s efforts against him in the last election and said he did not want $391 million in military aid released to Kyiv until it cooperated in investigations.

Democratic officials working on the impeachment trial said Tuesday they are more interested in obtaining Mr. Bolton’s notes from White House meetings than seeking his manuscript.

Asked about Democrats possibly issuing a subpoena for Mr. Bolton’s book manuscript, one Democratic official replied, “What is most important is, there have been confirmed reports that John Bolton was a voracious note-taker, contemporaneous notes. We are very, very interested in getting those notes.”

“They should be produced,” the official said. “The only thing better than witness testimony are contemporaneous notes of conversations.”

Another Democratic official said Mr. Bolton’s live testimony would be the “nail in the coffin” for convicting the president. He said Democrats will keep pressing to call him as a witness.

“The senators deserve to hear John Bolton under oath,” this official said. “And that is something that we will continue to make the case for moving forward.”

Democrats used the news about Mr. Bolton’s book to ramp up pressure on a handful of Republican senators to support their push for additional witnesses and documents in the Senate impeachment trial.

At least two of those senators, Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine, said the report bolstered their interest and those of their colleagues in hearing from Mr. Bolton.

“The reporting on John Bolton strengthens the case for witnesses and has prompted a number of conversations among my colleagues,” Ms. Collins told reporters.

Republican leadership is tapping the breaks and urging their members to refrain from committing to anything until after the president’s legal team rests their defense team.

“In this case, it may move the needle in one direction or the other,” Sen. Mike Braun, Indiana Republican, said. “I’m not going to deny it’s going to change the decibel level and probably the intensity with which we talk about witnesses.”

Senators will vote on whether or not to hear from witnesses on Friday, so how lawmakers are siding on this debate will be clear by around Thursday.

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