Trump lawyers slammed in wake of Bolton book news

 

Reports that John Bolton has written a firsthand account of the president’s direct involvement in withholding aid to Ukraine has left some Republicans confused and angry over the legal strategy by the president’s defense team — which has devoted much of its arguments in the Senate impeachment trial to arguing that no such firsthand evidence existed.

One Republican operative who advises the White House said he was “flabbergasted at how stupidly they have handled this.”

Trump attorney Mike Purpura argued Saturday that “not a single witness testified that the president himself said that there was any connection between any investigations and security assistance, a presidential meeting or anything else.”

Purpura repeated that claim on Monday afternoon, saying that “anyone who spoke to the president” said there was no pressure campaign on Ukraine.

That assertion echoes what the president’s legal team argued in its legal brief filed a week ago: “House Democrats’ claims are built entirely on speculation from witnesses who had no direct knowledge about anything and who never even spoke to the President about this matter.”

The disclosure in the New York Times Sunday night directly contradicts the arguments of the president’s lawyers, who said in their brief that this is “the central fact in this case.” Bolton, Trump’s former security adviser, has written in his forthcoming memoir about having just such a conversation with the president last August.

“This just completely washes away Purpura’s whole argument,” the White House adviser said. “WTF. He misled the Senate.”

Michael Purpura, Counsel to the President, makes arguments against the removal from office of US President Donald J. Trump during the President's impeachment trial in the US Senate in the US Capitol in Washington, DC on Saturday, January 25, 2020. (Screengrab: Senate TV via Yahoo News)

The first of two articles of impeachment in the Senate trial accuses Trump of withholding military aid to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation that could discredit former Vice President Joe Biden.

The House impeachment inquiry heard from numerous witnesses who testified that such a pressure campaign was undertaken by the administration, but none of them had direct evidence that implicated Trump personally.

Bolton claims to have that firsthand knowledge, according to reports about his manuscript.

Bolton’s lawyer, Charles J. Cooper, provided a manuscript of Bolton’s forthcoming book to the White House on Dec. 30, weeks before the Senate impeachment trial began.

The Republican who advises the White House predicted there will be now be no way for the White House to prevent Bolton from testifying. The adviser said the cardinal sin by the president's lawyers was not finding out what was in Bolton's book and addressing it in their opening remarks on Saturday.

 

President Donald Trump meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-In in the Oval Office of the White House in 2018, in Washington, as national security adviser John Bolton watches. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

It is not known who at the White House had access to the document, but at least one former top executive branch attorney, Jack Goldsmith, said a presidential administration “often circulates manuscripts submitted for [prepublication] review widely, including to political officials, and it often asks for deletions for reasons having nothing to do [with] disclosure of classified info.”

Another Republican operative who speaks regularly with the White House said the upshot of Bolton’s revelations will be to increase momentum toward calls for him to testify.

“I think it pushes at least four GOP senators to vote to call witnesses. They were soft before this little bombshell,” the Republican operative said.

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Senate Impeachment Trial: Day 2
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Senate Impeachment Trial: Day 2
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., joined by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., criticizes the Republican tactics during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate plunges into President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial with Republicans abruptly abandoning plans to cram opening arguments into two days but solidly rejecting for now Democratic demands for more witnesses to expose what they deem Trump’s “trifecta” of offenses. Trump himself claims he wants top aides to testify, but qualified that by suggesting there were “national security” concerns to allowing their testimony. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., joined by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., criticizes the Republican tactics during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate plunges into President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial with Republicans abruptly abandoning plans to cram opening arguments into two days but solidly rejecting for now Democratic demands for more witnesses to expose what they deem Trump’s “trifecta” of offenses. Trump himself claims he wants top aides to testify, but qualified that by suggesting there were “national security” concerns to allowing their testimony. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
President Donald Trump's personal attorney Jay Sekulow, left, gestures while standing with White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, right, while arriving at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate plunges into President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial with Republicans abruptly abandoning plans to cram opening arguments into two days but solidly rejecting for now Democratic demands for more witnesses to expose what they deem Trump’s “trifecta” of offenses. Trump himself claims he wants top aides to testify, but qualified that by suggesting there were “national security” concerns to allowing their testimony. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks to member of the media before heading back to the Capitol for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., left, arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate plunges into President Donald Trump's impeachment trial with Republicans abruptly abandoning plans to cram opening arguments into two days but solidly rejecting for now Democratic demands for more witnesses to expose what they deem Trump's "trifecta" of offenses. Trump himself claims he wants top aides to testify, but qualified that by suggesting there were "national security" concerns to allowing their testimony. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate plunges into President Donald Trump's impeachment trial with Republicans abruptly abandoning plans to cram opening arguments into two days but solidly rejecting for now Democratic demands for more witnesses to expose what they deem Trump's "trifecta" of offenses. Trump himself claims he wants top aides to testify, but qualified that by suggesting there were "national security" concerns to allowing their testimony. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., accompanied by the impeachment managers House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo. speaks to reporters, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate was poised to hear opening arguments Wednesday in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, with Democratic House managers set to make their case that Trump abused power and should be removed from office.(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
House Democratic impeachment managers, from top left, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., approach the microphones to speak to the media, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The U.S. Senate was poised to hear opening arguments Wednesday in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, with Democratic House managers set to make their case that Trump abused power and should be removed from office. (AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate was poised to hear opening arguments Wednesday in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, with Democratic House managers set to make their case that Trump abused power and should be removed from office. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate chamber at the Capitol Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Washington. The U.S. Senate was poised to hear opening arguments Wednesday in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, with Democratic House managers set to make their case that Trump abused power and should be removed from office. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
House Democratic impeachment managers including Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., and Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, walk, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The U.S. Senate was poised to hear opening arguments Wednesday in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, with Democratic House managers set to make their case that Trump abused power and should be removed from office. (AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin)
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined by Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., left, and Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., right, speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate has begun hearing opening arguments in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial with proceedings now on a fast track. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, walks to the Senate chamber for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Sen. John Barrasso R-Wyo., right, and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., speaks to reporters during a recess in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., talks to reporters while leaving the Senate chamber during a break the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, , left, walks with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., second from left, as Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, second from right, and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., follow to the Senate chamber during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., holds redacted documents as he speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., holds redacted documents as he speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
Personal attorney to President Donald Trump Jay Sekulow speaks to reporters during a recess in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana))
President Donald Trump's personal attorney Jay Sekulow, center, speaks to the media during a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin)
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, left, and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.,walk to the Senate chamber for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. departs the Capitol, late Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, following arguments in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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There are 47 Democrats in the Senate. Together with at least four Republicans, they would make up a majority.

On the question of why the president’s lawyers relied so heavily on the absence of a firsthand account tying the president to the pressure on Ukraine, this operative said: “They all represent a serial liar. [You] never know what is really going on. This is how he ran his businesses.”

And indeed, the immediate reaction on Capitol Hill did seem to suggest that the Senate was moving toward the idea of calling at least Bolton to testify. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said it was “increasingly likely” that at least four Republicans would vote to call Bolton to appear before the Senate. 

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