Even before the House passed articles of impeachment in the House, Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was demanding that former National Security Advisor John Bolton testify in the Senate trial.
Earlier this week, it seemed as though President Trump would be fine with that. However, it appears that by Friday night, his plans had changed.
Trump puts it in reverse
Trump was asked in an interview with Fox News personality Laura Ingraham if he would invoke executive privilege to prevent Bolton from testifying.
“No problem other than one thing,” Trump replied. “You can’t be in the White House as president, future, I’m talking about future … any future presidents — and have a security advisor, anybody having to do with security, and legal and other things but especially –”
“Are you going to invoke executive privilege?” Ingraham pressed.
“Well I think you have to for the sake of the office,” he answered.
That’s a different position than Trump was taking on Tuesday. When asked about the possibility of his one-time national security adviser appearing in the impeachment trial, a New York Post article quoted the president as saying it “would be up to the lawyers.”
“It’ll be up to the Senate, and we’ll see how they feel,” Trump stated, adding that Bolton “would know nothing about what we’re talking about.”
Bolton says “I am prepared to testify”
Bolton was quoted as well, and he said in a statement released last Monday that he would appear before the Senate if asked to do so.
“The House has concluded its constitutional responsibility by adopting articles of impeachment related to the Ukraine matter,” Bolton wrote.
“It now falls to the Senate to fulfill its constitutional obligation to try impeachments, and it does not appear possible that a final judicial resolution of the still-unanswered constitutional questions can be obtained before the Senate acts,” he went on.
“Accordingly, since my testimony is once again at issue, I have had to resolve the serious competing issues as best I could, based on careful consideration and study. I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify.”