Senator Mitt Romney (R., Utah) said on Monday evening that he wants former White House national security adviser John Bolton to testify in the Senate impeachment trial against President Trump, but stopped short of calling for him to be subpoenaed.
“I would like to be able to hear from John Bolton,” Romney told reporters on Capitol Hill. “What the process is to make that happen, I don’t have an answer for you.”
Romney is the first Republican senator to openly call for Bolton’s testimony. Democrats have sought to call on the former adviser as a witness for the trial, while Republicans have generally demurred.
Senators Susan Collins (R., Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska), both moderates, indicated on Monday that they would prefer to begin the impeachment trial before agreeing to call certain witnesses.
“I believe that the Senate should follow the precedent that was established in the trial of President Clinton,” Collins told Politico. “I think that we will decide at that stage who we need to hear from.”
“We’ve got to get to the first place first,” Murkowski said when asked if Bolton may be required to testify.
During the House impeachment inquiry, Bolton had indicated that he wanted a federal court to clarify if he could be subpoenaed to testify before lawmakers. Bolton announced on Monday that he would be willing to testify if subpoenaed.
“The House has concluded its Constitutional responsibility by adopting Articles of Impeachment related to the Ukraine matter,” read a statement from Bolton. “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.”
“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,” Bolton concluded.
The House in late December passed two articles of impeachment against President Trump pertaining to his actions toward Ukraine. Bolton, a foreign policy hawk, was pushed out of the Trump administration in September.