Bolton asked to tes­tify in im­peach­ment probe

The Korea Times - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON (AP) — House in­ves­ti­ga­tors are ask­ing for­mer na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser John Bolton to tes­tify in their im­peach­ment in­quiry, deep­en­ing their reach into the White House as the probe ac­cel­er­ates to­ward a po­ten­tial vote to re­move the pres­i­dent.

Demo­cratic law­mak­ers want to hear next week from Bolton, the hawk­ish for­mer ad­viser who openly sparred over the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ap­proach to Ukraine — in par­tic­u­lar, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s re­liance on his per­sonal at­tor­ney Rudy Gi­u­liani for a back-channel op­er­a­tion. Bolton once de­rided Gi­u­liani’s work as a “drug deal” and said he wanted no part of it, ac­cord­ing to pre­vi­ous tes­ti­mony.

Bolton’s at­tor­ney, Charles Cooper, said Wed­nes­day evening that his client would not ap­pear with­out a sub­poena.

The Democrats are also calling John Eisen­berg, the lawyer for the NSC who fielded an Army of­fi­cer’s con­cerns over Trump’s phone call with the Ukraine pres­i­dent, and Michael El­lis, an­other se­cu­rity coun­cil of­fi­cial, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the in­vi­ta­tion and granted anonymity to dis­cuss it.

The rush of pos­si­ble new wit­nesses comes as the House pre­pares to take its first of­fi­cial vote Thurs­day on the process ahead. That in­cludes pub­lic hear­ings in a mat­ter of weeks and the pos­si­bil­ity of draft­ing ar­ti­cles of im­peach­ment against the pres­i­dent.

The White House has urged of­fi­cials not to tes­tify in the im­peach­ment pro­ceed­ings, and it’s not guar­an­teed that those called will ap­pear for de­po­si­tions, even if they re­ceive sub­poe­nas as pre­vi­ous wit­nesses have.

Bolton’s for­mer deputy, Charles Kup­per­man, has filed a law­suit in fed­eral court ask­ing a judge to re­solve the ques­tion of whether he can be forced to tes­tify since he was a close and fre­quent ad­viser to the pres­i­dent. Any rul­ing in that case could pre­sum­ably have an im­pact on whether Bolton will tes­tify. A sta­tus con­fer­ence in that case was sched­uled for Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

Trump and his Repub­li­can al­lies on Capi­tol Hill say the en­tire im­peach­ment in­quiry is il­le­git­i­mate and are un­per­suaded by the House res­o­lu­tion formally set­ting out next steps.

Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell said the for­mat for the im­peach­ment probe denies Trump the “most ba­sic rights of due process.”

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