Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s excuses to avoid a real impeachment trial with witnesses and documents collapse daily. The latest shoe to drop: Former National Security Adviser John Bolton released a statement Tuesday saying that “if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify.”
Bolton had been hiding behind a lawsuit filed by his NSC deputy Charles Kupperman asking a court to decide whether he should legally honor a House impeachment inquiry subpoena or a conflicting White House assertion of executive privilege. Refusing to allow impeachment to drag through the courts for months, House Democrats withdrew their subpoena, allowing Federal Judge Richard Leon last week to declare Kupperman’s case moot.
There is now no reason why the U.S. Senate can rightly avoid hearing from a willing witness with extensive, first-hand knowledge of allegedly impeachable acts by President Trump. According to testimony already given in the House, Bolton instructed his former subordinates to tell the NSC legal counsel that he wanted no part of the Rudy Giuliani-Gordon Sondland “drug deal” to hold back desperately needed congressionally authorized military aid until Ukraine announced investigations into Joe Biden and the hacked 2016 DNC server.
Did Trump directly relate to Bolton that he wanted those political deliverables in exchange for releasing the aid? Did he say anything exculpatory to Bolton? Either way, the Senate and the nation need to hear from him.
No more fence-sitting, Mitt Romney and other hemming and hawing Republican senators. No more excuses, Mitch.