Washington, Jan 7 (IANS) John Bolton, the former US National Security Adviser (NSA), has said that he was ready and willing to testify at the pending Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump if he received a subpoena from the Republican-majority Upper House.
“I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify,” Efe news quoted Bolton as saying in a statement on Monday.
The interest regarding what Bolton may know about the Ukraine aid suspension case that has led to Trump’s impeachment skyrocketed during the House impeachment investigation launched by Democrats becuse he was in the forefront of foreign policymaking in the White House when the President pressured Kiev to launch an investigation of his main political rival, former Vice President and Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden.
According to Fiona Hill, a former subordinate of Bolton when he headed the National Security Council, the former NSA said on one occasion that he had nothing to do with the “drug deal” that other Trump advisers were “cooking up” regarding Ukraine.
Bolton had left it to a court to decide whether or not he would be required to testify in the House impeachment investigation, asking a judge to rule on whether he had to obey a congressional subpoena to testify or adhere to standing administration policy that all White House officials were prohibited from revealing anything they might have heard on the Ukraine – or any other – matter.
In his statement on Monday, Bolton said that after his attorney informed a House committee that he would leave the decision of whether he would testify up to the court, the committee decided not to issue a subpoena to try and compel him to appear before lawmakers.
Ultimately, Democrats ended their investigation without Bolton’s testimony and the House of Representatives in December approved two articles of impeachment against Trump – abusing his office and obstruction of Congress.
“It now falls to the Senate to fulfil its Constitutional obligation to try impeachments, and it does not appear possible that a final judicial resolution of the still-unanswered Constitutional questions can be obtained before the Senate acts,” Bolton said.
“Accordingly, since my testimony is once again at issue, I have had to resolve the serious competing issues as best I could, based on careful consideration and study. I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify.”
Democrats have proposed a roadmap for a possible Senate trial of Trump, asking that four new witnesses, including Bolton and Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, be called to testify on the Ukraine matter.
Bolton’s acrimonious exit from the West Wing in September 2019 was accompanied by a tweet from Trump that he had fired him, but Bolton wrote to numerous reporters to say that he was not dumped but rather had resigned.
A date for the start of the Senate trial still has not been set given that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is yet to formally forward the articles of impeachment to the Senate asserting that Democrats must know in advance how any trial will be conducted and demanding that new witnesses from within the White House be called to give testimony on the President’s actions.