House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) says his committee may subpoena former White House national security adviser John Bolton as President Donald Trump’s impeachment battle moves to the U.S. Senate.
“If they’re going to be the triers, and, in fact, they will be, they should hear from the witness directly. He has offered to come forward and testify,” he told “Face the Nation” on Jan. 12, referring to the Senate and the impeachment trial. “There is no reason not to have [Bolton] come forward and testify unless you just want to cover up the president’s wrongdoing.”
CBS anchor Margaret Brennan asked Schiff about a suggestion from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) about calling Bolton to testify in front of the House.
“It’s certainly something that we are considering,” Schiff said. “But look, Americans want to see a fair trial in the Senate. They want to see a trial that’s fair to the president and they want to see a trial that’s fair to the American people, that brings all the facts forward. There’s little sense in bringing Bolton into the House and not allowing the senators to see his testimony.”
Schiff’s comments come days before the House is expected to transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate, which will set up a weeks-long trial that is widely expected to result in President Trump’s acquittal. The Senate needs a 67-vote supermajority to convict and remove a president, which has never been done before.
The trial, however, will again highlight Democratic claims that Trump misused his power by allegedly withholding millions of dollars in aid to Ukraine in exchange for politically advantageous investigations into a political rival. Trump and Ukrainian officials have denied the allegations.
Last week, Pelosi wrote to her Democratic colleagues in the House that she intends on sending the two articles of impeachment—abuse of power and obstruction of Congress—to the Senate this week for the trial, after withholding them for several weeks following the Democrat-controlled House’s vote to approve them. No Republican in the House voted in favor of the articles and a handful of Democrats broke ranks on the vote. Pelosi said she wants to see how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) outlines the details of the trial, including whether witnesses like Bolton will testify.
Last week, Bolton indicated that he would be willing to testify in the impeachment trial if he was called under subpoena.
In response, Trump said that Bolton “would know nothing about what we’re talking about,” and he wouldn’t be a useful witness. Days later, Trump told Fox News on Jan. 10 that he would likely use executive privilege to block Bolton from testifying.
The reason, he said, is to protect the office of the presidency.
“You can’t be in the White House as president, future, I’m talking about future … any future presidents, and have a security advisor, anybody having to do with security, and legal and other things, [testify],” he said.