He was not in the full US Senate today. and it is not yet known if he will testify, but without a doubt the former National Security ex-adviser of the White House John Bolton was the main protagonist this day in the political trial of Donald Trump for leaks that compromise the president.
This Monday it was time to listen for the second day in the Upper House the arguments of the defense of the president, who, despite the stir caused by Bolton, made indirect reference to the leaks.
“We deal with transcripts of the evidence, public information available, we don’t deal with speculation,” said one of Trump’s personal lawyers, Jay Sekulow.
VENGAZA IS A COLD DISH
Bolton, fired in September by Trump, has written a book to be published in March, in which he seems willing to take out the dirty rags of his former boss.
According to excerpts leaked on Sunday by The New York Times, Bolton states in his book that the president told him that he wanted to continue withholding military aid to Ukraine.
According to the newspaper, Trump told Bolton in August that he “wanted to continue freezing the $ 391 million of security assistance to Ukraine until Ukrainian officials helped him with the investigations” against the Democrats, including former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who had worked for the Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
These revelations point directly to the first of the political charges filed by the progressives against Trump, of abuse of power (the other is of obstruction to Congress).
The Democrats initiated investigations against the president after a complaint from an informant to the intelligence services over a telephone call in July between Trump and his counterpart from Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenski, in which the American asked the Ukrainian to open investigations against the Biden for alleged corruption in the European country.
According to the Democratic opposition, Trump conditioned the delivery of almost 400 million dollars in aid to Ukraine and also the scheduling of a meeting with Zelenski in the White House to his demand that Kiev announce that he planned to investigate Biden, current candidate of his party to this year’s presidential elections.
AND TRUMP RETURNS THE DISH TO BOLTON
Before the leaks of Bolton’s book, Trump himself and the White House have counterattacked.
In a thread of tweets, the president denied having said those words: “I NEVER told John Bolton that aid to Ukraine was linked to investigations of Democrats, including the Biden. In fact, he never complained about this at the end of his public dismissal. “
“If Bolton has said this, it is only to sell his book,” he said. “That said, the transcription of my calls with President Zelenski is all the evidence needed, in addition to the fact that President Zelenski and the Foreign Minister from Ukraine have said there was no pressure or problem. “
The White House spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, went further and expressed, in statements to the Fox News television network, her suspicions about the moment chosen for this leak from Bolton’s book.
“I think the time for this is very, very suspicious,” said Grisham, who denounced that “suddenly this manuscript has magically appeared in the hands of The New York Times, with very, very serious statements.”
Bolton himself and the publishers Simon & Schuster and Javelin Literary denied in a joint statement any coordination with the newspaper on the publication of excerpts from the book, entitled “The room where it happened”.
THE REPUBLICANS, WITH THE HEART OF THE PARTY
The revelations fully affect the debate within the Republican ranks over whether or not to cite new witnesses in the political trial, as the Democrats ask.
Two important moderate Republican senators Mitt Romney and Susan Collins said Monday that the leaks make it important for the House to cite witnesses.
“It is increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those we think we should listen to John Bolton,” Romney told reporters.
For his part, Collins noted that “information about Bolton’s book strengthens the case in favor of witnesses and has sparked conversations” between his fellow members.
However, other conservatives such as the leader of the Senate Republicans, Mitch McConnell, have repeatedly reiterated their opposition to new witnesses.
Democrats in the Upper House, where they are a minority, need the support of at least four Republicans to win the vote in favor of hearing the testimony of witnesses in the Senate, which could be held on Friday.