Former National Security Adviser John R. Bolton said Monday he’s willing to testify under subpoena in a Senate impeachment trial.
“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,” he wrote in a statement. “I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify.”
House Democrats called on Mr. Bolton to come in to testify during their investigation but never subpoenaed his testimony.
Mr. Bolton declined to cooperate with the investigation, citing a court case by fellow White House official Charles Kupperman that weighed a congressional subpoena against executive privilege.
The case was dismissed last week.
The House did not pursue Mr. Bolton’s testimony when it became clear that it would lead to a lengthy court battle — a tactic they said was being used to drag out the process.
On Twitter, House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, who led the impeachment investigation, said the responsibility for securing Mr. Bolton’s testimony now lies with the Senate.
“Bolton refused to testify in the House, following Trump’s orders,” he wrote. “Now he is willing to come forward. The Senate must allow testimony from him, [acting White House Chief of Staff Mick] Mulvaney and others. The coverup must end.”
According to several witnesses in the House impeachment investigation, Mr. Bolton protested against the administration’s push to have Ukraine open investigations that would be politically beneficial for the president. One of his former aides, Fiona Hill, said he called the operation a “drug deal.”
U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland testified that Mr. Bolton was one of the president’s top advisers “in the loop” about his attempts to get Ukraine to announce investigations into allegations of 2016 election interference and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s connection to Burisma Holdings, an energy company that employed his son, Hunter.
Those allegations led the House to impeachment of President Trump on two counts — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — on a party line vote last month.
Democrats, frustrated with Mr. Bolton’s refusal to cooperate, have accused him of putting profits over patriotism and withholding information to sell more copies of his upcoming book.
Mr. Bolton’s comments come as the House and Senate are locked in a standoff over how the impeachment trial should be conducted.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is refusing to send over the articles until the procedures for the trial are made clear. Her Democratic colleagues in the Senate, led by Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York, are demanding that more key witnesses that worked in the administration — including Mr. Bolton — be called to testify.
Responding to Mr. Bolton’s statement on Twitter, Mrs. Pelosi suggested that Senate Republicans have no choice.
“The President & Sen. McConnell have run out of excuses. They must allow key witnesses to testify, and produce the documents Trump has blocked, so Americans can see the facts for themselves,” she wrote. “The Senate cannot be complicit in the President’s cover-up.”
Most Republicans, on the other hand, are leaning toward having a more streamlined approach. Although a handful of Republican senators are wary of rushing through the process.
“It is now up to four Senate Republicans to support bringing in Mr. Bolton, and the other three witnesses, as well as the key documents we have requested to ensure all the evidence is presented at the onset of a Senate trial,” Mr. Schumer said in a statement. “Given that Mr. Bolton’s lawyers have stated he has new relevant information to share, if any Senate Republican opposes issuing subpoenas to the four witnesses and documents we have requested they would make absolutely clear they are participating in a cover up.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said he prefers to proceed with opening arguments and written questions before deciding whether or not to include more witnesses. Although a handful of Republican senators are wary of rushing through the process.
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