It is back to the saga at hand…this time it is the president’s team doing their level best to subvert the course of justice (as they say on Law and Order)…
Day 6 analysis……but first the fall-out of the Bolton thing……
Democrats say new allegations from John Bolton make it essential that witnesses be called to testify in the Senate impeachment trial that resumes Monday. The big question: Will four Republicans—the magic number needed to make it happen—agree? That remains unclear, but the GOP’s Mitt Romney suggests the odds are rising. “It’s increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those of us who think we should hear from John Bolton,” he said, per Politico. “I have spoken with others who have opined upon this.” His comments came in the wake of a report in the New York Timesabout Bolton’s upcoming book. In it, the former national security adviser reportedly asserts that Trump directly linked Ukraine aid to an investigation of the Bidens.
Trump has issued a fresh denial of that. Also Monday, another moderate Republican, Susan Collins, sounded like she was even more squarely in the pro-witness camp. “I’ve always said that I was likely to vote to call witnesses, just as I did in the 1999 Clinton trial,” she said, per the Washington Post. “The reports about John Bolton’s book strengthen the case for witnesses and have prompted a number of conversations among my colleagues.” A third possibility is Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, notes the Hill, but things get tougher after that. One key Republican to watch is thought to be Lamar Alexander.
The GOP and the president’s team continue their opening remarks…..
The second day of President Trump’s defense in his impeachment trial has resumed in the Senate, though a big new wrinkle has emerged in the form of John Bolton. The former national security adviser’s upcoming book reportedly alleges that Trump directly linked Ukraine aid to an investigation of the Bidens, a development that is raising calls for Bolton to be called as a witness. That won’t be decided until after Trump’s defense team has finished its arguments, which will probably be Tuesday. Coverage:
- Big name: Kenneth Starr, a member of Trump’s legal team, told senators the charges should be dismissed because Trump did not commit an actual crime, reports the Washington Post. He said that was not true in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, in which Starr played a key role. “The nation’s most recent experience, the Clinton impeachment—even though severely and roundly criticized—charged crimes,” he said. After faulting the House for passing these new articles of impeachment, he added: “I respectfully submit that the Senate should close this chapter, this idiosyncratic chapter, on this increasingly disruptive act.”
- Dershowitz, too: Another big name on Trump’s team, Alan Dershowitz, is expected to speak Monday and make a similar argument, reports the Hill. (Dershowitz has shifted his thinking on this, having argued the opposite in regard to Clinton back in 1998.)
- Trump: Speaking to reporters at the White House Monday, Trump called the new Bolton allegation “false,” per the AP. He also said he has not read the manuscript of Bolton’s memoir, which is currently under review by the National Security Council.
- A block? CNN reports that Republican leaders are working on a strategy to block Bolton’s testimony, in case enough votes surface to call him. The argument is that the Senate is not obligated to look for new evidence to buttress articles of impeachment passed by the House.
Not to worry Day 7 will prove to be less informative than Day 6….but I will be here to let you know what you missed…..
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