Expect Bolton to get called before House committees, despite the possibility that he would give some kind of press interview before the release of the book. It has been 30 days since the WH received the manuscript.
Even as the Senate was set to begin debating whether to call witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, the New York Times published a new revelation contained in an upcoming book from the first and most important witness Democrats would like to call, John Bolton.
The new report shows just how absurd is the GOP claim that there’s no more to be learned about the Ukraine scandal and that we should wrap up the trial as quickly as possible:
More than two months before he asked Ukraine’s president to investigate his political opponents, President Trump directed John R. Bolton, then his national security adviser, to help with his pressure campaign to extract damaging information on Democrats from Ukrainian officials, according to an unpublished manuscript by Mr. Bolton.Mr. Trump gave the instruction, Mr. Bolton wrote, during an Oval Office conversation in early May that included the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, who is now leading the president’s impeachment defense.Mr. Trump told Mr. Bolton to call Volodymyr Zelensky, who had recently won election as president of Ukraine, to ensure Mr. Zelensky would meet with Mr. Giuliani, who was planning a trip to Ukraine to discuss the investigations that the president sought, in Mr. Bolton’s account. Mr. Bolton never made the call, he wrote.
First, this shows that Trump’s chief counsel for his impeachment defense, Pat Cipollone, might have been a fact witness to the very corrupt scheme for which Trump was impeached — and for which the Senate is now set to acquit him.
What Democrats can do
Gillers suggested that the House impeachment managers could ask the presiding officer, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., to remove Cipollone as Trump’s chief counsel and order Cipollone to sit for questioning by the managers as part of Trump’s trial.
“The managers might ask the chief justice to require Cipollone to testify under oath, subject to cross-examination,” Gillers said. “There’s a very plausible argument to say that he should have been a fact witness.”