Jan 13, 2020

66% of Americans want John Bolton to testify

Former national security adviser John Bolton. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Two-thirds of Americans surveyed want former national security adviser John Bolton to testify in the Senate impeachment trial, according to a Quinnipiac national poll of 1,562 voters released Monday.

Why it matters: Bolton, who is believed to have been a prolific note-taker with key insights into President Trump's decision-making on Ukraine, said earlier this month that he would be willing to testify if subpoenaed by the Senate. Popular support for Bolton's testimony could put pressure on moderate Republican senators to vote to call him as a witness.

  • The voters who want Bolton to testify include 39% of Republicans, 71% of independents and 91% of Democrats, per Quinnipiac.

The big picture: Many of those Republican senators have made clear that they will not commit to voting for witness testimony before the trial begins, despite new revelations about the Ukraine scandal coming out over the holiday break.

  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), however, told reporters on Friday that she has been working with "a fairly small group" of GOP senators to ensure witnesses like Bolton are called.
  • Other moderate Republicans have dodged questions about potential witnesses, but if a handful decides to buck the party line, it could be enough.

Yes, but: In an interview with Fox News' Laura Ingraham that aired Friday, Trump said he'd likely invoke executive privilege if Bolton was subpoenaed.

Methodology: From January 8–12, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,562 self-identified registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±2.5 percentage points. The survey includes 651 Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic with a margin of error of ± 3.8 percentage points.

Go deeper: Trump claims Bolton would "know nothing" about impeachment charges

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Romney: It's "increasingly likely" Senate Republicans will vote for Bolton testimony

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said Monday that it is "increasingly likely" that he and at least three other Senate Republicans will vote to call former national security adviser John Bolton as a witness in President Trump's impeachment trial.

Why it matters: His comments come after the New York Times reported that Bolton alleges in his forthcoming book that Trump told him he needed aid withheld from Ukraine until it helped with investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens.

Go deeperArrowJan 27, 2020

The GOP senators signaling support for witnesses following Bolton report

From left: Sen. Susan Collins, former national security adviser John Bolton, Sen. Mitt Romney. Photos: Getty Images

At least three Republican senators are signaling support for calling John Bolton as a witness in President Trump's Senate impeachment trial, following reports that the former national security adviser's forthcoming book includes allegations that Trump said he conditioned aid to Ukraine on the nation investigating his political rivals.

The state of play: The revelations from Bolton's book could be enough to sway the four Republican senators needed to vote for witness testimony in the trial, GOP sources told Axios on Monday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 30, 2020

Republicans fear "floodgates" if Bolton testifies

Photo: Yuri Oreshkin/TASS via Getty Images

There may be enough new pressure on Senate Republicans to allow witnesses at President Trump's impeachment trial, after the leak from a forthcoming book by former national security adviser John Bolton that contradicts what the White House has been telling the country.

Why it matters: This is a dramatic, 11th-hour inflection point for the trial, with an eyewitness rebuttal to Trump's claim that he never tied the hold-up of Ukrainian aid to investigations into Joe Biden.

Go deeperArrowJan 27, 2020