GOP’s Loeffler takes issue with Romney on Bolton testimony

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump (all times local):

Monday Jan 27, 2020

2:25 p.m.

The newest member of the U.S. Senate is taking a swipe at Sen. Mitt Romney after he said it is “increasingly likely” that other Republicans will join a call to compel former national security adviser John Bolton to testify in the Senate impeachment trial.

Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler tweeted Monday that Romney wants to “appease the left by calling witnesses who will slander” President Donald Trump.

The Georgia lawmaker was sworn in on Jan. 6 after being appointed by the state’s Republican governor. Her tweet came hours after Romney said Bolton “has relevant testimony” and it is “increasingly apparent it is important to hear” from him.

Bolton wrote in his forthcoming book that Trump told him he wanted to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in security aid from Ukraine until it helped him with investigations into his Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Loeffler said: “The circus is over. It’s time to move on!”

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2:05 p.m.

The publisher of former national security adviser John Bolton’s upcoming book says there was “no coordination” between the timing of a New York Times story that the book would undercut a key defense argument in the Senate impeachment trial, and the book being available for pre-order.

Bolton, the book’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, and literary agent Javelin released a statement to that effect Monday.

Bolton writes in the forthcoming book that Trump told him he wanted to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in security aid from Ukraine until it helped him with investigations into his Democratic rival Joe Biden.

The book, titled “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” is scheduled to be released on March 17. It appeared for pre-order on sites including Amazon on Sunday night. The New York Times first reported Bolton’s account on Sunday.

The book had reached the 55th slot on Amazon’s best-seller’s list by midday Monday.

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1:25 p.m.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is disputing former national security adviser John Bolton’s claims in his forthcoming book. Among the claims is an allegation that President Donald Trump told Bolton he wanted to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in security aid from Ukraine until it helped investigate a Democratic political rival.

Mulvaney lawyer Bob Driscoll says Bolton never informed Mulvaney of any concerns surrounding Bolton’s alleged conversation with Trump. And he says Mulvaney never had a conversation with Trump or anyone else “indicating that Ukrainian military aid was withheld in exchange for a Ukrainian investigation of Burisma, the Bidens, or the 2016 election.”

He also says Mulvaney has “no recollection of any conversation with” Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani “resembling that reportedly described in Mr. Bolton’s manuscript.”

He’s slamming the allegations as having “more to do with publicity than the truth.”

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11:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is dismissing a claim by his former national security adviser that could play a major role in his impeachment trial as patently “false.”

John Bolton writes in his forthcoming book that Trump told him that he wanted to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in security aid from Ukraine until it helped secure investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump and his legal team have repeatedly rejected that claim.

Trump told reporters Monday as he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he has “not seen a manuscript” of Bolton’s book, but that the allegations are untrue.

The revelations in the book have dramatically increased pressure on Republican senators to call Bolton to testify at Trump’s impeachment trial.

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10:50 a.m.

Sen. Mitt Romney says it is “increasingly likely” that other Republicans will join a call to compel former national security adviser John Bolton to testify in the Senate impeachment trial after reports that a draft of his book undercuts a key defense argument.

Romney’s statement Monday comes as Bolton wrote in an upcoming book that President Donald Trump told him he wanted to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in security aid from Ukraine until it helped him with investigations into his Democratic rival Joe Biden.

The account has given Democrats fuel in their pursuit of testimony from Bolton and other witnesses.

Romney says Bolton “has relevant testimony” and it is “increasingly apparent it is important to hear” from him.

GOP Sen. Susan Collins says reports about Bolton’s book “strengthen the case for witnesses” and have promoted “a number of conversations among my colleagues.” In a statement she tweeted, Collins said, ”“I’ve always said that I was likely to vote to call witnesses, just as I did in the 1999 Clinton trial.

Senators are expected to take a key vote later this week on whether to consider witnesses in the trial.

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