A Republican senator who voted against allowing witnesses at Donald Trump’s impeachment trial now says he wishes John Bolton had testified his explosive claims against Donald Trump rather than writing them in a book.
Senator Tim Scott spoke out about Bolton’s upcoming memoir, which is said to include claims that Trump improperly pressed foreign leaders to help him win re-election. In an interview with ABC News, the South Carolina Republican said he wished that Bolton had come to the House to testify under oath. As Reuters reported last November, Bolton threatened to sue if he were to be subpoenaed to testify during the impeachment inquiry. Senate Republicans later voted together to block any witnesses from being called during the president’s Senate trial, when Bolton said he would have testified if called.
Scott spoke out about Bolton on Sunday, saying he wished that Bolton had made the claims about Trump under oath rather than in a book.
“One of the things about making allegations in a book for $29.95, — certainly it’s going to be a best-seller I’m sure — the problem is that when you’re selling it in a book, you’re not putting yourself in a position to be cross-examined,” Scott said, via Business Insider.
“So for $29.95, you can monetize his national security clearance, but under oath, he would have had an opportunity to answer questions and not just make assertions,” Scott added.
“So far, it looks like he’s monetized it more than he has actually provided a fact-pattern.”
As CNN reported, many Senate Republicans have seemed “unmoved” by the claims leaked from Bolton’s book, which is set to be released this week after facing an unsuccessful legal challenge from Trump. Early reports of the book show that Bolton claimed Trump sought re-election help from Chinese President Xi Jinping. This has been compared to the pressure Trump placed on the Ukrainian president to launch an investigation of Joe Biden, ultimately leading to Trump’s impeachment.
Some Republicans asked to comment on the allegations have not seemed terribly moved, with Senator John Barrasso saying that every president believes they should be re-elected, and that he supports Trump’s re-election.
The report noted that Bolton’s book could present trouble for some Senate Republicans, who may be forced to defend their votes to acquit Trump at the conclusion of his trial. Democrats are seeking to regain control of the Senate and polling shows that a number of incumbent Republicans are in for close races.