As the president's legal team was preparing to launch an in-depth defense in front of senators, they were overshadowed by a New York Times report that former National Security Advisor John Bolton wrote in his book that President Trump did put a hold on military assistance to Ukraine for personal political gain.
Colorado Rep. Jason Crow, one of the House impeachment managers, said the news seems to corroborate what House impeachment arguments have been arguing.
“That just underscores the need for ambassador Bolton to testify,” Crow said. “The president deserves a fair trial. The country deserves a fair trial. The Senate deserves a fair trial. You know our system of checks and balances requires that the Congress not be a rubber stamp for the presidency."
He added that managers will continue to make that argument that senators have an independent obligation to their constituents and the American people.
“We firmly believe all 100 of the senators took the same oath. We are making the case to all of them,” Crow said.
The Senate is expected to take up the issue of additional witnesses and document later this week, after the defense makes its case for the president and 16 hours of questions from senators.
Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet has supported the call for additional evidence. He said doing so is part of the senators' duty to the Constitution, and that the legislative branch because no president has stonewalled Congress like the current president.
“If we allow this to go forward without having documents and witnesses when we’ve got these serious allegations of the president’s abuse of power and the kind of corrupt stonewalling he’s engaged in,” Bennet said last week, “no future President will be held accountable.”
Catching Republican Sen. Cory Gardner after the dinner break, he reiterated that we’re having a trial.
At the start of the impeachment trial he said in a statement that he would, “closely evaluate the law and facts presented to the Senate as I fulfill my constitutional duties as a United States Senator.”
He also noted that the rules are the “same basic principle” of the Clinton impeachment, meaning that witnesses and documents will be addressed after questions and debate.
A few other Republican senators, including Richard Burr of North Carolina and Tim Scott of South Carolina, have also stayed silent.
But others, like Sens. Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, indicated a willingness to support a case for additional witnesses.
“I think it’s increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those of us who think we should hear from John Bolton,” Romney said.
But first, four Republicans would have to join the Democratic caucus for that to happen.
Read More: What To Watch For As Trump's Legal Team Resumes Its Impeachment Defense (via NPR.org)
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