Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has rejected a proposal by Republican Senators to subpoena the manuscript of former National Security Advisor John Bolton, insisting Bolton must appear as a witness.
.@SenSchumer kills Lankford/Graham proposal to make Bolton manuscript available to senators in the SCIF: "What an absurd proposal. It's a book!"
— Ben Siegel (@benyc) January 28, 2020
Democrats did not subpoena Bolton during the House impeachment inquiry after he said he would seek an answer from the courts as to whether the president’s constitutional privileges would allow him to testify.
Bolton’s deputy, who was still subpoenas, sought an answer from the courts — but House Democrats canceled the subpoena before a federal court court ruled on the matter, and passed articles of impeachment regardless.
Since then, Democrats have demanded that the Senate call witnesses and subpoena additional documents — including Bolton and other witnesses and documents that Democrats did not call in the House inquiry.
Democrats rejected every Republican effort to call new witnesses during the House inquiry, even breaking the House’s own rules to deny Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee a “minority hearing.”
On Sunday evening, the New York Times reported that Bolton’s forthcoming book would claim that Trump waned to withhold aid from Ukraine until it conducted investigations that he had requested it undertake.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told reporters Monday he was interested in the manuscript — but that if Bolton testified, Republican witnesses — including Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and the “whistleblower” –also would.
A judicial subpoena for Bolton’s manuscript would likely be swift, as the document itself would be subject to fewer constitutional problems with executive privilege than the live, unedited testimony of Bolton himself.
However, Democrats have apparently rejected the idea of obtaining the manuscript — even as an interim measure — in favor of demanding Bolton as a witness. The goal appears to be simply to prolong the trial.
Republicans have begun to liken the Democrats’ tactics to those they used to prolong the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, against whom they made uncorroborated claims of misconduct.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.