Chuck Schumer says John Bolton’s book is the smoking gun for President Trump’s impeachment trial.
The Senate minority leaders said Monday that the dramatic revelations leave Republicans with no viable argument to refuse to call Bolton to testify.
“This is stunning (and) it goes right to the heart of the impeachment inquiry,” Schumer said. “How can Senate Republicans not vote to hear that witness.”
Schumer ticked off a list of revelations that have emerged about Trump’s effort to use American defense aid as leverage to force Ukraine to announce bogus investigations into Democrats and a 2016 election conspiracy theory.
But he called Bolton’s first-hand account that Trump admitted the improper trade-off as the most important evidence yet. The New York liberal noted that the White House ramped up its efforts to block all witness testimony after Bolton submitted his manuscript to officials for vetting.
“We’re all staring a White House cover up in the face,” Schumer said.
Republicans are scrambling to come up with a cogent response to the Bolton bombshell.
A handful of Trump loyalists repeated White House talking points that Bolton’s account isn’t really a game changer and the GOP can still proceed with the plan to wrap up the trial as quickly as possible without witnessses.
But many GOP lawmakers were reportedly rattled by the disclosures and were discussing how to respond.
Prominent Trump loyalist Lindsey Graham backed out of a morning press conference apparently to avoid facing questions about Bolton. Senators were set to lunch with powerful Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to demand answers.
Senators claimed they were blindsided by the Bolton revelations which directly contradict Trump defense arguments that there is no evidence that the president withheld aid to Ukraine to win the probes into Joe and Hunter Biden and a debunked claim that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election on the side of Hillary Clinton.