- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 7, 2020

President Trump said Tuesday it’s up to lawyers and senators to decide whether his former national security adviser, John Bolton, should testify in his looming impeachment trial.

Senate Democrats want Mr. Bolton to divulge what he knows about Mr. Trump’s decision to hold up military aid to Ukraine last summer. The delay occurred around the same time Mr. Trump requested Kyiv’s assistance in investigations that could benefit him politically.

Mr. Bolton, who left the administration in September, announced Monday he will testify if he receives a subpoena, though it’s unclear if that will happen.

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“That’s going to be up to the lawyers, that’ll be up to the Senate,” Mr. Trump said during a White House meeting with the prime minister of Greece.

The president suggested he had nothing to worry about if Mr. Bolton is called upon.

“[Mr. Bolton] would know nothing about what we’re talking about because if you know, the Ukrainian government came out with a very strong statement — no pressure, no anything, and that’s from the boss, that’s from the president of Ukraine,” Mr. Trump said, denying once again the existence of a quid pro quo between the aid money and investigations.

He also said the money got to Ukraine “two or three weeks ahead of schedule” in September, misleadingly conflating the aid’s long-expected arrival with the end of the fiscal year, when it would have expired.

The House voted to impeach Mr. Trump in December on articles saying he abused his power and then obstructed Congress. It’s unclear when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will release the articles to the GOP-led Senate, so a trial can begin.

Senate Democrats say it would be foolish to hold a trial on Mr. Trump’s removal without hearing from Mr. Bolton or White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, among others.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has insisted on the Senate holding the same rules and procedures for Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial that the chamber held for President Clinton.

During the trial in 1999, the House managers presented their case and the president’s legal team was able to respond before the issue of whether to call witnesses was decided.

Senate GOP leaders said Tuesday they have the votes to proceed as they would like, once the articles arrive from the House.

Mr. Trump fumed over his impeachment from the Oval Office on Tuesday, saying Ukraine ultimately got the aid money after he examined the situation. The president says he delayed the funds’ release because he wanted other nations to pay out more.

“It’s a hoax, the impeachment is a big hoax. It’s become a laughingstock all over the world,” Mr. Trump said.

He noted that every House Republican voted against his impeachment in December. And he reiterated his belief that neither of the articles of impeachment reflect an actual crime.

Alex Swoyer contributed to this story.

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