Now You Know

Call Your First Witness!
(or…not?)

A closer look at the Senate divide over where the impeachment trial goes next.

Now You Know

WHERE WE ARE

  • Each side – the House managers (Democrats) arguing for the removal of Pres. Trump, & Pres. Trump’s lawyers (Republicans) – have made opening arguments.
  • Democrats used nearly all of the 24 hours (3 days) allotted to each side; Republicans used about half their time (Source: C-SPAN).
  • Now senators get to submit written questions to both sides.
Now You Know

LINGERING QUESTION

Will the Senate allow witness testimony?

Initially it seemed no.

  • The Republican-led Senate argues the Democrat-led House already allowed witness and expert testimony, leading to the impeachment of Pres. Trump.
  • Democrats argue Pres. Trump prevented testimony & evidence in the House and new information has come to light. Some Republicans agree.
Now You Know

WHAT’S NEW

  • Pres. Trump’s former National Security Advisor John Bolton reportedly has first-hand knowledge of Pres. Trump’s decision to withhold aid from Ukraine and why.
  • He – reportedly – details this information in his new book.
  • We hesitate to characterize this information compared to other media outlets because…no one has read the book OR has direct quotes from it.
Now You Know

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

Amb. John Bolton in early January before reports on the contents of his book surfaced. Amb. Bolton says he resigned his position of National Security Advisor; Pres. Trump says he fired him. Consequently, the opinion on Bolton varies from a respected expert to disgruntled employee.
Now You Know

“While we are creating jobs and killing terrorists, the congressional Democrats are obsessed with demented hoaxes, crazy witch hunts and deranged partisan crusades.”

Pres. Trump during a rally this week in New Jersey. If the Senate allows witnesses, others like Joe Biden could be called to testify and the impeachment trial could last several more weeks or even months, keeping top Democrat presidential candidates (ex: Sens. Sanders, Warren) off the campaign trail.
Now You Know

Whether or not the Senate allows witnesses depends entirely on a majority vote in the Senate where Republicans hold the majority. One solution? Sen. Lankford asked if the Senate can have classified access to Bolton's yet-unpublished book, "The Room Where It Happened," due for release March 17th.

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Read

Sources

GOP lacks votes to block trial witnesses, McConnell concedes
https://apnews.com/b54b02d0a9d99f0f33ce4c95fd56f8e2

Statement By John Bolton: https://www.boltonpac.com/2020/01/statement-of-john-r-bolton/

Trump Tied Ukraine Aid to Inquiries He Sought, Bolton Book Says
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/26/us/politics/trump-bolton-book-ukraine.html

Impeachment Enters Volatile New Phase as Senators Get to Ask Their Questions
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/28/us/politics/impeachment-trial-senate-questions.html