Nadler: Any Senator Who Won't Vote To Subpoena John Bolton Is "Complicit" In Trump's "Cover-Up" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Nadler: Any Senator Who Won't Vote To Subpoena John Bolton Is "Complicit" In Trump's "Cover-Up"

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As the first day of the impeachment trial continued past midnight, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler argued in favor of an amendment to subpoena former national security adviser John Bolton for testimony, going so far as to say that any Republican who will not vote to subpoena Bolton for testimony is "complicit" in a "cover-up."

"The president and some members of this body are afraid to hear from Ambassador Bolton because they know he knows too much," Nadler said. "If you vote to block this witness or any evidence it can only be because you do not want the American people to hear the evidence you do not want a fair trial. And that you are complicit in President Trump's efforts to hide misconduct and the truth from the American people."

"The president is not what you to hear from Ambassador Bolton because he does not want the American people to hear firsthand testimony about the misconduct at the heart of this trial. The question is if the Senate will be complicit in the president's crimes by covering them up. Any senator who votes against any relevant testimony shows that he and she are part of the cover-up. What other possible reason is there to prohibit a relevant witness to testify here?"

Nadler said Bolton’s comments in documents collected by the House "make clear" that the official was extremely concerned about and objected to President Donald Trump's pressure on Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. Nadler made a broader plea to the senators to support "an honest trial," and permit witnesses to testify.

"Why is the president so intent on concealing the evidence and blocking all documents and testimony here today? Only guilty people try to hide the evidence," he said.

REP. JERRY NADLER: Ladies and gentlemen, this is a trial. At a trial the lawyers present evidence. The American people know that. Most ten-year-olds know that. If you vote to block this witness or any evidence it can only be because you do not want the American people to hear the evidence, that you do not want a fair trial. And that you are complicit in President Trump's efforts to hide misconduct and the truth from the American people.

Ambassador Bolton was appointed by President Trump. He has stated his willingness to testify in this trial. He is prepared to testify. He says his relevant evidence is not disclosed to the public. His comments reaffirm what obvious from the testimony and documents by the House which highlight Ambassador Bolton's role of the president's misconduct.

Extensive evidence collected by the House makes it clear Ambassador Bolton didn't only have firsthand knowledge but he was deeply concerned with it. He describes the scheme as a "drug deal" to a senior member of his staff and warned that Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani would "blow everybody up." Indeed, in advance of the July 25, 2019 call, Ambassador Bolton expressed concern that President Trump would ask the Ukrainian president to announce these political investigations -- which is exactly what happened.

Of course, all he cared about was the announcement to smear a political rival in the United States. He repeatedly urged his staff to report their own concerns as the scheme was unfolding. Finally, as national security advisor, he also objected to the raising of aid for the Ukraine and advocated for the release of that aid including directly to President Trump, and as we all know, that Impoundment Control Act makes it illegal for it the president to withhold aid after Congress voted for it. But the president ignored the warnings because all he cared about was a political rival. The law meant nothing to him.

Ambassador Bolton made it clear he is ready willing and able to testify about everything he witnessed, but President Trump does not want you to hear from Ambassador Bolton. It has nothing to do with executive privilege or this other nonsense or national security. If the president cared about national security he would not have blocked military assistance to a vulnerable strategic ally in the attempt to secure personal political favor for himself.

The president is not what you to hear from Ambassador Bolton because he does not want the American people to hear firsthand testimony about the misconduct at the heart of this trial. The question is if the Senate will be complicit in the president's crimes by covering them up. Any senator who votes against any relevant testimony shows that he and she are part of the cover-up. What other possible reason is there to prohibit a relevant witness to testify here?


Watch Nadler's full comments:



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