Trump says Bolton testimony up to Senate, claims former adviser knows 'nothing'

President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE said Tuesday that John BoltonJohn BoltonOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right Ex-Trump adviser Bolton defends Milley: 'His patriotism is unquestioned' MORE, his former national security adviser, would “know nothing about what we’re talking about” even if the former White House aide were to testify in the Senate impeachment trial.

Asked by reporters during a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis whether he would be comfortable with Bolton testifying, Trump responded, "That's going to be up to the lawyers. It'll be up to the Senate, and we'll see how they feel."

“He would know nothing about what we're talking about because, as you know, the Ukrainian government came out with a very strong statement, no pressure, no anything, and this from the boss,” Trump continued. “That's from the president of Ukraine. The foreign minister came out with a statement that was equally as strong.”


Bolton, who left his White House post on testy terms with the president, said in a statement Monday that he would be willing to testify in a Senate impeachment trial of Trump if subpoenaed because the legal question of whether a senior adviser to the president can be subject to compelled congressional testimony would not be resolved until after the conclusion of a trial. 

“I have had to resolve the serious competing issues as best I could, based on careful consideration and study. I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify,” Bolton said.  

It appears unlikely, however, that the GOP-controlled Senate will call Bolton to testify.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell'Justice for J6' rally puts GOP in awkward spot Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally House to act on debt ceiling next week MORE (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday that he had the votes to pass an organizing resolution to begin the trial without requiring witness testimony. Democrats have pushed for the Senate to call Bolton and other White House officials to testify about the Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine.

Bolton is viewed as a key witness because he was privy to events leading up to and following Trump’s July 25 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which the president asked Ukraine to investigate a debunked theory about 2016 election interference as well as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE and his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine.


Bolton described the effort by administration officials to press Ukraine for the investigations as a “drug deal,” according to witness testimony in the House impeachment inquiry. His attorneys have also said he has relevant information on meetings and conversations regarding Ukraine.

The Democrat-controlled House voted almost strictly along party lines last month to impeach Trump for abusing his office by pressuring a foreign leader to launch politically motivated investigations and for obstructing the congressional inquiry into his dealings with Ukraine.

Trump has maintained he did nothing wrong on the phone call, describing it as “perfect” and insisting Democrats impeached him in order to damage him politically. As he did Tuesday, Trump has pointed to statements from Ukrainian officials saying they felt no pressure from him.

Bolton, who declined to testify before the House but was never subpoenaed, had previously said he would wait until a lawsuit by his former deputy Charles Kupperman was resolved. Kupperman had asked a court to decide whether he should obey a congressional subpoena for testimony or the White House instructions that he not testify, but a federal judge declared the case moot last month.