While the Trump impeachment trial raged on in the Senate, the New York Times obtained a draft copy of John Bolton’s unpublished book, “The Room Where It Happened,” a memoir from the former National Security Advisor that contained a statement that Trump would only approve Ukrainian military aid if the country would announce an investigation into Hunter and Joe Biden. So far no hard evidence from White House transcripts has emerged supporting this statement, but the timing of the manuscript leak comes inconveniently during the ongoing impeachment trial, potentially throwing a wrench into the process and compelling the Senate to call Bolton as a witness.
Senate Republicans are resistant to the calling of witnesses, because if one witness is allowed, then it could set a precedent that allows the calling of unlimited witnesses, dragging on the trial well into election season. Regardless, with a supermajority required to actually oust Trump, the outcome of the process is unexpected to change despite the release. Trump vehemently denied ever telling Bolton of any arrangement with Ukraine early Monday, instead saying that
Although Bolton had indicated earlier in the month that he was willing to testify in the impeachment trial, Bolton’s attorney denied timing the leak of the manuscript to the press to coincide with the impeachment trial, blaming the leak on White House officials, which was reviewing the draft to confirm that no classified information was being included. This comes two months after Bolton refused to attend his scheduled deposition last November, threatening legal action if subpoenaed. Bolton resigned last September after conflicts with Trump on foreign policy issues.