The group, Republicans for the Rule of Law, is pressing for the GOP-controlled Senate to allow witnesses in Trump’s upcoming trial, something the legislative body has been resistant to. In particular, the group is interested in the Senate allowing John Bolton to provide his testimony. Bolton, who served as national security adviser in the Trump administration from April 2018 to September 2019, has confirmed that he is willing to testify, as CNN reports.
“If the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify,” he said.
By some measures, his testimony could prove damaging to Trump’s defense.
To that end, the group has spent $1 million on a campaign that includes two ads. The ads will air nationally on Fox News every day next week. What’s more, the ads will run on Fox & Friends and Lou Dobbs Tonight (on Fox Business). Both of the shows are known to be favorites of the president, who reportedly tweets based on what he sees on the shows. As for Lou Dobbs in particular, Trump has referred to him as “the great Lou Dobbs.”
HuffPost writer Ed Mazza posits that, if Trump holds true to his habits, he’ll be watching Fox News and Fox Business in the coming days, and he will likely see the ads that are calling for witness testimony in his impeachment trial.
In addition to the TV ads, the group is using more traditional forms of reaching voters, including billboards. In an example of targeting ads to the people whom the advertisers (in this case Republicans for the Rule of Law) want most to see them, the billboards will be put up in the capitals of Utah, Alaska, Maine, Tennessee, Colorado, and Arizona. Republican senators from those states, all of whom are locked up in tight reelection battles, are also in a position to move to allow witnesses in the Senate trial.
Bill Kristol, Republicans for the Rule of Law’s director, said in a statement that the Constitution mandates that the Senate must try an impeached president or other official, but that a trial without evidence isn’t really a trial at all.
“The Senate can’t try an impeachment without a trial, and there’s no such thing as a trial without evidence,” the statement reads in part.