'Trump Won' Impeachment Trial When Senate Voted to Prevent 'Pivotal Witnesses' Says Top Legal Analyst

President Donald Trump virtually won his impeachment trial when the Republican-led Senate voted against hearing from "pivotal" witnesses, a legal analyst has said.

Jeffrey Toobin, CNN's chief legal analyst, said the fact that Republican senators opted not to hear from Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton was "an absolute travesty."

Senators rejected demands to summon witnesses in the impeachment trial on Friday in a vote largely along partisan lines. Only Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah broke with their Republican colleagues to support Democrats in a 51-49 vote. Trump's acquittal is now all but certain ahead of a Senate vote on Wednesday.

"Trump won. I mean, he's gonna win this trial. He won on the issue of witnesses, he's gonna get acquitted and that's how history will remember what went on here," Toobin said on CNN following the vote.

"I think history will also record that there are at least one and perhaps other pivotal, pivotal witnesses who were available to the…Senate to talk about the precise issue that is the subject of this impeachment trial and the Senate decided not to hear from them."

He added: "The idea that John Bolton is out there with a book and giving speeches for money and said he's willing and having someone leaking the contents of that book daily to the New York Times and the Senate decided not to hear from John Bolton is just an absolute travesty."

Toobin was referring to reports by The New York Times that revealed Bolton's forthcoming memoir directly connects Trump to the charges against him.

According to The Times, Bolton claims in the unpublished manuscript that the president directed him to help with a campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate Trump's political rivals months before the infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that sparked impeachment proceedings.

Bolton says Trump instructed him to call Zelenskiy in an Oval Office meeting in May last year and persuade the Ukrainian leader to meet with the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who was planning to visit Ukraine to discuss the investigations Trump wanted.

The Times also reported that Bolton wrote in his manuscript that Trump had told him in August last year that he wanted to continue freezing military aid to Ukraine until officials helped with investigations against Democrats, including Joe Biden.

Trump has denied that both conversations took place.

In a statement provided to The Times, he said: "I never instructed John Bolton to set up a meeting for Rudy Giuliani, one of the greatest corruption fighters in America and by far the greatest mayor in the history of N.Y.C., to meet with President Zelensky. That meeting never happened." The White House has been contacted for additional comment.

Trump was impeached by the Democratic-controlled House in December on charges that he abused his power for personal gain by pressuring Ukraine to launch a corruption investigation into Biden. He was also charged with obstructing Congress by directing administration officials and agencies not to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump departs from the White House for a weekend trip to Mar-a-Lago on January 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. Sarah Sibiger/Getty Images
'Trump Won' Impeachment Trial When Senate Voted to Prevent 'Pivotal Witnesses' Says Top Legal Analyst | U.S.