John Bolton says he would testify in Senate impeachment trial if subpoenaed

John Bolton, former national security adviser to Donald Trump, said Monday he is “prepared to testify” if subpoenaed by the Senate in its impeachment trial of the U.S. president.

Bolton, who left the White House in September, said he has weighed the issues of executive privilege and after “careful consideration and study,” decided he would comply with a Senate subpoena.

“I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify,” he said in a statement.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has publicly expressed resistance to calling new witnesses in the trial, though Democrats are pressing to hear from Bolton and others who did not appear before the House’s inquiry in the upcoming proceedings.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to release the House-passed articles of impeachment against Trump to the Senate. Chuck Schumer, top Democrat in the Senate, has proposed calling several witnesses, including Bolton, but McConnell has so far rejected Schumer’s terms.

It is unclear when Pelosi will eventually release the articles. If she decides to do so in the coming days, a Senate trial could start as soon as this week.

“We can’t hold a trial without the articles,” McConnell tweeted Monday. “The Senate’s own rules don’t provide for that. So, for now, we are content to continue the ordinary business of the Senate while House Democrats continue to flounder. For now.”

Bolton was Trump’s third national security adviser, and according to witness statements in the House, expressed alarm the Trump administration was withholding nearly $400 million US in military aid already approved by the Pentagon for Ukraine. Democrats allege the aid was held up as leverage so that Ukraine could announce an investigation into former U.S. vice-president Joe Biden, a potential Trump opponent in this year’s general election.

Bolton reportedly clashed with Trump on a number of foreign policy issues, but in recent days has praised the deadly attack that killed Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani.

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