Congress

Impeachment news roundup: Jan. 6

Bolton says he would testify in Senate impeachment trial if subpoenaed

Former national security adviser John Bolton appears at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in September. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley unveiled text of a resolution seeking to change the Senate rules in order to dismiss articles of impeachment starting 25 calendar days after their adoption in the House, even if the House does not appoint managers and send over the paperwork.

“The Constitution gives the Senate sole power to adjudicate articles of impeachment, not the House. If Speaker Pelosi is afraid to try her case, the articles should be dismissed for failure to prosecute and Congress should get back to doing the people’s business,” Hawley said in a statement.

He advocated for the bill later Monday during a Senate floor speech.

“In the real world when a prosecutor brings a case but refuses to try it, the court has the ability and the defendant has the right, a constitutional right I might add, to have those articles, those indictments, those charges dismissed,” he said.

A group of 10 Republican senators signed on as original co-sponsors of Hawley’s proposed rules change. Under the regular order, a two-thirds vote is required to break filibusters of proposals to change the Senate rules.

Here is the latest on impeachment:

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 6: Two dozen protesters participate in the "Swarm the Senate" rally in the Hart Senate Office Building urging action to "impeach, remove, indict and jail" President Trump on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. The protesters held up their hands with the words “no war.” (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Two dozen protesters participate in the “Swarm the Senate” rally on Monday in the Hart Senate Office Building urging action to “impeach, remove, indict and jail” President Donald Trump. The protesters had written “NO WAR” on their hands. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Daily Senate protests: A coalition of liberal activists organizing under the group name Remove Trump on Monday launched what they say will be daily protests in and outside the Hart Senate Office Building calling for Trump’s removal.

The first protest began Monday at noon. Progressive groups participating included Indivisible, Women’s March, Progressive Democrats of America, By the People, and Democracy For America.

The protests will include recitations of the Constitution’s impeachment clause, silent processions and Senate office visits.

“The reasons why Donald Trump should be removed go far beyond Ukraine,” L.A. Kauffman, co-founder of Remove Trump, said in a statement. “We will be staging daily protests to demand what a clear majority of Americans want: the removal of this dangerous, reckless criminal from office.”

Bolton willing to talk: Former national security adviser John Bolton says that if he is subpoenaed, he is willing to testify as part of an impeachment trial in the Senate.

“I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify.”

Bolton previously said he would not testify during the House Intelligence Committee impeachment investigation unless he was subpoenaed and a court ordered him to give testimony against direction from the White House. Not interested in a long court fight, House investigators proceeded without testimony from Bolton.

Bolton served as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser for more than a year before he left in September, just weeks before the Ukraine pressure campaign became public.

Bolton is on Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer’s short witness wish list for a Senate trial, along with acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, senior Mulvaney adviser Robert Blair, and Michael Duffey, a political appointee at the Office of Management and Budget who oversaw the process for releasing foreign aid funds.

Schumer said Bolton’s announcement gave weight to the argument that the Senate should hear from witnesses.

“It is now up to four Senate Republicans to support bringing in Mr. Bolton, and the other three witnesses, as well as the key documents we have requested to ensure all the evidence is presented at the onset of a Senate trial,” Schumer said in a statement. “Given that Mr. Bolton’s lawyers have stated he has new relevant information to share, if any Senate Republican opposes issuing subpoenas to the four witnesses and documents we have requested they would make absolutely clear they are participating in a cover up.”

Fiona Hill, a Russia expert who worked on Trump’s National Security Council, testified before the House Intelligence Committee that Bolton raised concerns about the Ukraine effort and that he had serious concerns about actions of Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine.

Hill testified that European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland was coordinating with Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney while not working with the NSC.

“I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,” Bolton told Hill to tell White House lawyers.

Paying a price: The American Action Network, a political group affiliated with House Republican leadership, released a memo Monday showing that a majority of voters polled in three Democratic districts that Trump won by 10 or more percentage points in 2016 developed a less favorable view of their representative after their votes in favor of impeachment.

The polls were conducted Dec. 18-19 in New York’s 22nd District, South Carolina’s 1st District and New Mexico’s 2nd District, which are represented by freshmen Democratic Reps. Anthony Brinidisi, Joe Cunningham and Xochitl Torres Small, respectively. Each district poll surveyed 400 likely voters and has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

The negative opinions of the impeachment vote were greatest in Brindisi’s district, where 53 percent of those surveyed said they developed a less favorable impression of him compared to 34 percent who said they have a more favorable opinion. In Torres Small’s district, 52 percent had a less favorable view of her after the impeachment vote, with 36 percent saying they had a more favorable impression. Cunningham’s constituents were a bit more split, with 47 percent saying they had a less favorable opinion and 38 percent saying they had a more favorable view.

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