Jan 22, 2020

Trump says national security concerns preempt impeachment witnesses

President Trump said Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that he'd "rather go the long way" with his Senate impeachment trial and have former national security adviser John Bolton testify — but argued that national security concerns preempt it.

"If you think about it, John, he knows some of my thoughts. He knows what I think about leaders, what happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader and it's not very positive and then I have to deal on behalf of the country, it's going to be very hard, going to make the job very hard." 

The big picture: Trump added that he'd like to see other top administration officials testify, but claimed that the same national security concerns apply.

  • "Mick Mulvaney is probably around here someplace. I’d love to have Mick go, but he really expressed himself well when he did a Chris Wallace interview ... I’d love to have Mike Pompeo testify, but again, that’s a national security problem ... I’d love to have Rick Perry. Rick Perry has asked me, 'I’d love to testify. Please let me testify.' Because he knows this is all a hoax."

The state of play: Trump also told the press conference that he "would love to go" to the impeachment trial himself.

  • "I'd sit right in the front row and stare in their corrupt faces. I'd love to do it. ... Don't keep talking because you may convince me to do it."
  • The president admitted that one of his top defense lawyers, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, "might have a problem" if he decided to attend.

Worth noting: The Trump administration simply blocked the officials the president discussed today from participating in the House's impeachment inquiry — without citing executive privilege or national security concerns.

  • That strategy resulted in an obstruction of Congress article of impeachment against Trump.

What's next: The Democratic House managers in the trial will kick off their opening arguments on Wednesday afternoon — with 24 hours spread across three days.

Go deeper: The daily highlights from Trump's Senate impeachment trial

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Trump impeachment trial recap, day 11: Closing arguments conclude

Rep. Adam Schiff at closing arguments. Photo: Senate Television via Getty Images

House managers and President Trump's defense team presented their closing arguments on Monday during the 11th day of the president's Senate impeachment trial.

The state of the play: The four hours of closing arguments were more for show than meant to change any minds, as Trump is all but certain to be acquitted on Wednesday.

Trump impeachment trial recap, day 13: Senate votes to acquit Trump

Photo: Senate Television via Getty Images

President Trump's Senate impeachment trial concluded Wednesday with a final vote (4pm ET) to acquit him on two articles brought by the House — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — after senators continue their debate on the issue.

The big picture: Trump's acquittal was always expected, but Wednesday saw an 11th hour twist in the impeachment trial as Sen. Mitt Romney voted in favor of convicting the president on abuse of power — the only Republican senator to break ranks.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy

White House says Bolton book contains top secret information

Photo: Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The White House says that former national security adviser John Bolton's book contains top secret information in a letter addressed to his attorney that was publicly released Wednesday.

The state of play: The development, first reported by CNN's Jake Tapper, sets up a potential legal battle between Bolton and the White House over the book's publication, which is currently scheduled for March 17.

Go deeperArrowJan 29, 2020