John Bolton Will Likely Be Subpoenaed by the House to Testify, Top Democrat Jerry Nadler Says

Former national security adviser John Bolton, whom the GOP-controlled Senate declined to summon during President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, will likely be subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee to testify, the panel's chairman said Wednesday.

"I think it's likely, yes," Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) told reporters. "When you have a lawless president, you have to bring that to the fore, you have to spotlight that, you have to protect the constitution, whatever the political consequences."

Bolton is believed to have firsthand knowledge of Trump's dealings with Ukraine, reportedly saying in a forthcoming book that the president withheld military aid as he lobbied the country to conduct investigations into Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden, that would benefit his re-election.

Nadler said his panel would want Bolton to discuss not just Ukraine, but also the various congressional probes House Democrats have launched against the Trump administration since they regained the chamber's majority last year. That includes investigations into alleged violations of the constitution's Emoluments Clauses, among other things.

"We are talking about everything," Nadler said. Prompted whether there could be political blowback for continuing the probes despite an expected impeachment acquittal for Trump, he responded: "As more and more lawlessness comes out, I presume the public will understand that."

Democrats likely to subpoena John Bolton
Former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton appears at the Center for Strategic and International Studies before delivering remarks September 30, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty

Bolton, who said he resigned in September but who Trump said he ousted, was blocked by the White House from testifying last year during the House's impeachment inquiry. He threatened to sue if he was issued a subpoena. Impeachment investigators declined to do so, citing the lengthy court battle that would ensue.

But Bolton changed his tune last month, saying he was willing to testify in the Senate's impeachment trial. In their attempt to subpoena him, as well as other witnesses and documents they believed were relevant, Senate Democrats came up two votes short. This despite Republicans Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine breaking with their party to support hearing from Bolton and others.

At 4 p.m. Wednesday, the Senate will cast its final vote in the trial, which is expected to end with the president's acquittal. The question remains whether who—if any—senators defect from their party.

Romney and Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona were the only undecided lawmakers in the hours leading up to the vote. Previous wildcards, which included Sens. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), have stated they planned to vote with their respective parties on whether to convict or acquit the president.