If John Bolton is subpoenaed to testify before the Senate, his testimony is expected to be damning for Trump at the impeachment trial.
Mr. Bolton declined to say on Monday precisely what he would be willing to tell Congress. But his lawyer, Charles J. Cooper, told the House’s top lawyer in November that Mr. Bolton knew about “many relevant meetings and conversations” connected to the Ukraine matter that had not been shared with House impeachment investigators. And former White House officials and people close to Mr. Bolton have indicated that his testimony would likely be damning to Mr. Trump and put additional pressure on moderate Republicans to consider convicting him.
That could place Mr. Trump at greater risk in the Senate, where a two-thirds vote — 67 senators — is needed to remove a president. Democrats, the minority party, effectively control 47 seats.
MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace called it a decent bet that Bolton already knows that he has the four Republican votes needed for the Senate to subpoena him. There is no evidence that anything that Bolton could testify to will exonerate Trump, or provide political cover for Republicans to vote not to convict him.
The former Trump administration official could make it even more difficult for moderate Senate Republicans to stand with Trump. The nightmare scenario for the Republican Party isn’t that Trump is convicted and removed, but that a few Republicans in the Senate vote to convict Trump, and impeachment becomes bipartisan.
If Bolton testifies, there won’t be a quickie impeachment trial, and it could open the door for a bipartisan political death blow to Donald Trump.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association