Republicans in the United States Senate were pressured on Monday to allow new witnesses and documents in the trial against Donald Trump, following a report that said John Bolton wrote a book in which he undermines the version of the Republican president on the Ukraine case .
Republican Senator Mitt Romney said there is a growing likelihood that at least four lawmakers from his party will vote to ask the former national security adviser to testify, which would give Democrats the necessary votes to summon him.
The New York Times cited the manuscript of an unpublished Bolton book that claims Trump told him he wanted to freeze security aid to Ukraine until Kiev helped with investigations into several Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.RELATED
If confirmed, the report would add arguments to the accusations that Trump used the 391 million, approved by Congress for Ukraine to fight Russia-backed separatists, as a lever for a foreign country to help him investigate Biden, one of the candidates for the Democratic nomination for the November elections. While other testimonies go along the same lines, Bolton's would be the first account that directly links the president to the plot, and not through other officials.
For his part, Trump denied the versions on Monday and criticized Bolton. The former official left office in September. Trump said he fired him, but the now former official says he resigned.
In addition to Romney, Senator Susan Collins noted that "information about Bolton's book strengthens the case in favor of witnesses and has sparked conversations" among his fellow members.
Also, Lisa Murkowski and Lindsay Graham expressed their willingness to know more details about the content of the Bolton manuscript. According to analysts in Washington, Republicans who dispute their bench in November risk being accused of negligence if it is later known that there was evidence to be discovered. However, other conservatives such as the leader of the Senate ruling party, Mitch McConnell, have repeatedly reiterated their opposition to new witnesses. Voting on that point could take place this Friday.
The House of Representatives, controlled by Democrats, accused Trump last month of abuse of power in his dealings with Ukraine and obstruction of Congress, establishing the Senate trial led by Republicans. Trump is expected to be acquitted in the Upper House, where two-thirds of the votes are required for a president and dismiss him. No Republican legislator has expressed support for voting against the president.
The New York Times report did not directly quote the manuscript, but several people who described Bolton's account.
Trump denied the accusations in a series of tweets. "I NEVER told John Bolton that aid to Ukraine was linked to investigations of Democrats, including the Biden … If John Bolton said this, it's just to sell a book," he wrote.
Bolton himself and the publishers Simon & Schuster and Javelin Literary denied in a joint statement any coordination with the newspaper on the publication of excerpts from the book, entitled "The room where it happened".
(With information from Reuters and EFE)