Former Trump security adviser John Bolton 'willing to testify' at impeachment trial

6 January 2020, 18:45

John Bolton (right) said he will testify in the impeachment trial if subpoenaed by the Senate
John Bolton (right) said he will testify in the impeachment trial if subpoenaed by the Senate. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Former White House national security adviser John Bolton has said he is willing to testify at President Trump’s impeachment trial if he is subpoenaed by the Senate.

Mr Bolton, who is considered a key witness in the trial by Democrats, said in a statement that he was trying “to meet my obligations both as a citizen and as former National Security Advisor.”

The former Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs has crucial knowledge of the President’s actions regarding Ukraine which led to his impeachment.

Mr Trump is accused of abusing the power of his office by enlisting a foreign government to investigate a political rival ahead of the 2020 election.

Mr Bolton had previously said his decision on whether to testify would be guided by the courts, but a “final judicial resolution” is unlikely to happen.

He had complied with a Presidential directive not to testify in the trial until now, but appears to have changed his opinion.

In a statement on Monday, Mr Bolton said: “The House has concluded its Constitutional responsibility by adopting Articles of Impeachment related to the Ukraine matter.

“It now falls to the Senate to fulfil its Constitutional obligation to try impeachments, and it does not appear possible that a final judicial resolution of the still-unanswered Constitutional questions can be obtained before the Senate acts.

“Accordingly, 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.

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

Mr Trump is expected to be acquitted by the Republican-led Senate, but would still then have to run for re-election under the spectre of his impeachment.

A two-thirds majority is needed to convict and oust Mr Trump from office.

The House impeachment resolution laid out in stark terms the two articles of impeachment against Mr Trump stemming from his July phone call when he asked the Ukraine president for a "favour" - to announce it was investigating Democrats ahead of the 2020 election.

He also pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to probe unsubstantiated corruption allegations against Joe Biden, the former vice president and 2020 White House contender.