Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is reportedly “curious” to hear what former National Security Advisor John Bolton has to say following a New York Times report containing revelations from his forthcoming book, signaling that she would make a decision on calling for additional witnesses soon.
Murkowski, one of the key GOP senators Democrats hope to win over in support for their calls for additional witnesses, stated on Monday that she remains “curious” to see what Bolton might have to say. She released the statement following a Times report that stated that President Trump:
…told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens.”
Trump has denied the report.
I stated before that I was curious as to what John Bolton might have to say. From the outset, I’ve worked to ensure this trial would be fair and that members would have the opportunity to weigh in after its initial phase to determine if we need more info,” she said in a statement. “I’ve also said there is an appropriate time for us to evaluate whether we need additional information —that time is almost here. I look forward to the White House wrapping up presentation of its case.
(2/2) I’ve also said there is an appropriate time for us to evaluate whether we need additional information —that time is almost here. I look forward to the White House wrapping up presentation of its case.
— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) January 27, 2020
Murkowski is one of five Republican senators — Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) — Democrats hope will join them in calling for additional witnesses.
Both Collins and Romney have signaled further interest in hearing from Bolton following the Times’ report, although Collins maintains that she has held a consistent position.
She said in a statement on Monday:
From the beginning, I’ve said that in fairness to both parties the decision on whether or not to call witnesses should be made after both the House managers and the President’s attorneys have had the opportunity to present their cases,” “I’ve always said that I was likely to vote to call witnesses, just as I did in the 1999 Clinton trial.
The reports about John Bolton’s book strengthen the case for witnesses and have prompted a number of conversations among my colleagues,” she added:
My statement on Bolton developments. pic.twitter.com/3M59J7suts
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) January 27, 2020
Romney on Monday said the Times’ report makes it “increasingly apparent it would be important to hear from John Bolton” but indicated that he will refrain from making a decision until after the defense presents its case.
“But I think at this stage it’s pretty fair to say that John Bolton has a relevant testimony to provide to those of us who are sitting in impartial justice,” Romney added.