Explosive allegations from an upcoming memoir by former National Security Advisor John Bolton are strengthening the case for additional witnesses at the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
According to Bolton's manuscript, the President sought as recently as September to withhold $391 million in congressionally approved aid to Ukraine until its President announced investigations into his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Bolton's testimony under oath could answer the key question at the heart of Trump's impeachment, while providing the firsthand account of events Republicans claim to want to hear.
With such bombshell allegations dropped by Bolton, it's tough for Republican Senators—who took an oath of impartiality at the beginning of the trial—to make the case against hearing him testify under oath.
Even Conservative Fox and Friends co-hosts Ainsely Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade made the surprising admission that they, too, think Bolton needs to testify before the Senate.
Brian Kilmeade: "I don't see how you avoid bringing Bolton in now." https://t.co/vDcEFP205C— Bobby Lewis (@Bobby Lewis)1580210468.0
"When Lindsey Graham comes out and says Bolton may be a relevant witness, I don't see how you avoid bringing Bolton in now."
Co-host Steve Doocy expressed skepticism before Earhardt concurred with Kilmeade:
"Well, I understand why now many of them want to question him. I didn't want witnesses. I wanted this thing to be over, but now, if he is saying there was a tie — the money in exchange for an investigation — if he is saying that, then some of these senators that have grappled with whether or not to call witnesses, this might be the tip of the iceberg for them."
Earhardt later clarified that she meant "a tipping point," and not "the tip of the iceberg."
A top Republican talking point against the impeachment effort is a lack of firsthand witnesses (though they rarely acknowledge this is due to stonewalling from the White House). Now that a firsthand witness has presented himself, Republican lawmakers are looking for excuses not to hear him.
Some, like Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), say the House should have subpoenaed Bolton instead of getting the Senate to do the House's job (it's the Senate's job as well to hear witnesses). Others like Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) say the revelations don't change anything.
The Fox and Friends hosts dissent marked a possible epoch.
When Fox and Friends says witnesses are now unavoidable, we’ve reached a tipping point. https://t.co/1MdNnSasQA— Sarah Longwell (@Sarah Longwell)1580213519.0
When you've lost Fox & Friends... https://t.co/pWlzwdijBV— The Moscow Project (@The Moscow Project)1580224682.0
Months ago, I was perhaps the only person who said there was even a *chance* Trump could be removed. That’s still… https://t.co/o0yY0rHOzo— Matt Lewis (@Matt Lewis)1580220079.0
Wow! Even Fox and Friends admit calling witnesses is necessary! https://t.co/rmRqSK8flg— lkm 🇺🇸 (@lkm 🇺🇸)1580223136.0
Huh. I’m always suspicious of the snide “if Trump has lost so and so...” takes. But...if Trump is losing Fox & F… https://t.co/9cfgM9cuUZ— Scott Gilmore (@Scott Gilmore)1580222023.0
Well, this can't be good for Trump. Even these clowns on Fox know Trump's in trouble. https://t.co/2SsNVpCjzT— Mash - The MFer is #IMPOTUS (@Mash - The MFer is #IMPOTUS)1580214006.0
@revrrlewis Even the Fox crowd want Facts. Why not? The only reason is because the WH doesn’t want the facts out.… https://t.co/DkGUAKUJqM— SrGold (@SrGold)1580222920.0
@revrrlewis Ruh Rho. The tide is going out.— Chuck Horne (@Chuck Horne)1580212982.0
The President just happened to go on a Twitter screed against Fox News this morning.
.....So, what the hell has happened to @FoxNews. Only I know! Chris Wallace and others should be on Fake News CNN o… https://t.co/k4Csq4Hw2k— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1580226297.0
It's unclear if Kilmeade and Earhardt will be back tomorrow morning with a new spin, but for now, having Bolton testify—especially with the assurance that the Senate is highly unlikely to convict Trump—may be the prudent move for Republican Senators, even if it's damaging to Trump.