On Monday, Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney said he predicts that at least some of his Senate colleagues will “break ranks” and vote to allow the chamber to hear testimony from at least one witness: former National Security Advisor John Bolton. Romney says that news of explosive allegations in Bolton’s new book is raising questions that the Senate will want to get answers to.
As Yahoo News details, on Sunday night The New York Times reported that Bolton’s upcoming book — which is expected to hit bookstore shelves in March — contains allegations that he witnessed President Donald Trump allegedly threatening to withhold military aide from Ukraine until the country’s government agreed to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
That allegation, Romney says, deserves further examination. Romney said that he, and at least a few other Republicans in the Senate, will be interested in calling Bolton as a witness.
“I think the story that came out yesterday, it’s increasingly apparent that it would be important to hear from John Bolton,” Romney said.
He’s not the only one who may be interested in calling for Bolton to testify. Romney claimed that it’s “increasingly likely” that “other Republicans” will join in the call to hear Bolton’s testimony.
Romney didn’t name names, but at least two other Republican senators have broadly suggested that they’re interested in hearing from Bolton.
For example, Susan Collins of Maine said in a tweet last week that she’s in favor of calling witnesses in general, just like she was during Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999. Now that the Bolton allegations are front-and-center, she’s may be even more interested in calling witnesses.
“The reports about John Bolton’s book strengthen the case for witnesses and have prompted a number of conversations among my colleagues,” she tweeted.
Even South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, one of Trump’s staunchest allies in the Senate, said that Republicans in the Senate may be interested in calling witnesses. But Graham also noted in a Monday morning tweet that if any witnesses the Democrats want to hear from are called to testify, then President Trump should be allowed to call the witnesses he wants to appear, too.
“If there is a desire and decision by the Senate to call Democratic witnesses, then at a minimum the Senate should allow President @realDonaldTrump to call all relevant witnesses he has requested,” he tweeted.
In order for the Senate to allow witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial, only a simple majority — 51 votes — would be required. If all 47 Democrats in the Senate voted to allow witnesses, four Republican votes would still be required, MarketWatch reports.