On Monday, January 27th, 2020, President Donald Trump’s team of defense lawyers will take the Senate floor to argue that, despite the Articles of Impeachment passed by the House of Representatives, the president did not commit any crime or acts worthy of conviction and removal from office.
Last week, a group of House Members, called House Managers, made their arguments for impeaching President Trump in front of the full Senate, in hopes that a majority of Senators will vote to convict and remove the president from office.
Throughout this entire impeachment process, additional evidence has continued to surface, including a bombshell uncovered by The New York Times on Sunday night.
The Times is reporting that John Bolton, Trump’s former National Security Adviser, gave the White House an advanced copy of his forthcoming book, in order to give them the opportunity to request certain material be removed, especially if it would put national security at risk or is considered classified information.
This new report says Bolton’s book includes information that proves President Trump personally asked for security assistance to be held from Ukraine, in order to guarantee the nation and its new president would help Trump in politically-motivated investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
The issue of Ukraine’s security assistance, which was delayed for several months, and the potential investigations into the Bidens, is at the heart of the impeachment trial.
Democrats, in both the House and Senate, have argued that Trump committed bribery by holding onto the much-needed, Congress-appropriated assistance until he received reassurance from the Ukrainian president that he would announce Trump’s biggest political rival (for the 2020 election) was under investigation.
The defense currently being used by Trump’s attorneys is that, even if the security assistance was withheld (and eventually released), President Trump did not do so in an attempt to secure political investigations, which could possibly help him in the general election in November of 2020.
However, John Bolton, who has said he is willing to testify in the Senate trial, was still in the White House when these alleged events occurred and would prove to be a credible witness. From the sounds of it, if Bolton did testify, he would be verifying the arguments being made by the Democrats and cause trouble for Trump’s defense.
This information from Bolton has the potential to significantly rock the impeachment trial.
In the past week, there has also been a treasure trove of evidence released from a man named Lev Parnas, who was an associate of Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, who was reportedly put in charge of the administration’s efforts in Ukraine.
Although Parnas has recently been indicted in the Southern District of New York for campaign finance violations, he could wind up being another prominent witness in the impeachment trial and for the case against President Trump.
Parnas has claimed that the president was both aware of and involved in pressuring the Ukrainians to provide political investigations into Joe Biden. He also implicated Security of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General Bill Barr, and even Vice President Mike Pence in this scheme, which Parnas claims everyone associated with the administration was aware of.
We still don’t know whether or not Parnas and/or Bolton, or any other witnesses, will make an appearance in the Senate. Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans are trying their best to move this trial along at a fast pace, without calling any new witnesses or admitting any new documentary evidence, in order to acquit President Trump.
On the flip side, Democrats are fighting tooth and nail to make sure these witnesses and evidence are considered in the trial. In order to make that happen, the Democrats need just four Republican senators to join them in voting for additional witnesses and evidence.
At the moment, it does not seem that the Senate will have enough votes to convict and remove the president, but the vote to allow witnesses and evidence will be just as crucially important to the process. If these pieces of evidence are allowed in the trial, and if John Bolton, Lev Parnas, and others are allowed to testify, it could persuade Republican Senators to believe President Trump is guilty, and it could totally change the outcome of the impeachment trial.