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Bolton book revelations roil Trump impeachment trial

Former national security advisor John Bolton 
Washington (AFP) - White House lawyers were to resume their defense of President Donald Trump at his Senate impeachment trial Monday as explosive revelations from former national security advisor John Bolton increased pressure on Republicans to call him as a witness.

Trump lashed out at Bolton on Twitter, denying he had ever told his former aide that military assistance to Ukraine was tied to Kiev investigating his political rival Joe Biden.

According to The New York Times, Bolton makes the bombshell allegation -- which is at the heart of the impeachment case against the president -- in a draft of his upcoming book.

"I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens," Trump said.

@realDonaldTrump
I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book. With that being said, the......transcripts of my calls with President Zelensky are all the proof that is needed, in addition to the fact that President Zelensky & the Foreign Minister of Ukraine said there was no pressure and no problems. Additionally, I met with President Zelensky at the United Nations......(Democrats said I never met) and released the military aid to Ukraine without any conditions or investigations - and far ahead of schedule. I also allowed Ukraine to purchase Javelin anti-tank missiles. My Administration has done far more than the previous Administration.


@realDonaldTrump
The Democrat controlled House never even asked John Bolton to testify. It is up to them, not up to the Senate!

"In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book."

Speaking later to reporters, Trump said he had not yet seen the manuscript, which was submitted to the White House for security clearance.

The Bolton revelations came as White House lawyers prepared to resume their defense of the president in the Senate at 1:00 pm (1800 GMT).

In opening arguments on Saturday, White House counsel Pat Cipollone said Trump had done nothing wrong and voters -- not Congress -- should decide in November whether he should be removed from office.

Chief Democratic prosecutor Adam Schiff countered on CNN on Monday that while the evidence of Trump's guilt is "already overwhelming," the Bolton revelations "very dramatically" bolster the case.

"It completely blasts another hole in the president's defense," said Schiff, who led the investigation that saw the president impeached by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on December 18 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

- 'Put John Bolton to the test' -

"At the end of the day, this a test for the senators," the California lawmaker said. "The question they have to answer is 'Do they want to hear the truth?'  Continue reading

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