Hoyer: House Democrats reserving option to subpoena Bolton

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerBiden signs Juneteenth bill: 'Great nations don't ignore their most painful moments' House passes political spending, climate change corporate disclosures bill House to vote Wednesday on making Juneteenth a federal holiday MORE (D-Md.) said Tuesday that House Democrats are leaving the door open to seek testimony from former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonUS drops lawsuit, closes probe over Bolton book John Bolton: Biden-Putin meeting 'premature' Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process MORE in the ongoing investigation into President TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Poll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Black Secret Service agent told Trump it was offensive to hold rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth: report MORE's dealings with Ukraine.

Hoyer was quick to emphasize that House Democrats have no immediate plan to subpoena Bolton as Democrats in both chambers press Senate GOP leaders to summon the former White House adviser once the impeachment process shifts to the trial stage.

But he also didn't rule it out.

"I think that's an option, but it's not an option that we're pursuing at this point in time," Hoyer said during a press briefing in the Capitol. "We'll need to see what the Senate's doing."

The comments arrive as Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Energy: Lake Mead's decline points to scary water future in West | White House leads opposition to raising gas tax | Biden taps ex-New Mexico lawmaker for USDA post Trump against boycotting Beijing Olympics in 2022 House Democrats' campaign arm raises almost million in May MORE (D-Calif.) continues to refuse to send two articles of impeachment, passed in the House last month, to the Senate. Pelosi, with the strong backing of her caucus, has said she's waiting first for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham quips key to working with Trump: We both 'like him' The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Democrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl MORE (R-Ky.) to lay out the guidelines that will govern the process in the upper chamber.

"It is important that he immediately publish this resolution, so that, as I have said before, we can see the arena in which we will be participating, appoint managers and transmit the articles to the Senate," Pelosi wrote to fellow Democrats Tuesday night.

McConnell fired back on Wednesday, saying Pelosi has no leverage in the debate since Senate Republicans have already secured enough support to adopt their own set of rules without Democratic votes.

"There will be no haggling with the House over Senate procedure," McConnell said on the chamber floor.

Among the chief sticking points between the parties has been the question of whether the Senate will push forward with the trial without seeking new evidence or witness testimony, as Republicans insist, or if new documents and witness testimony will be considered, as Democrats are demanding.

Bolton, who left the White House last September amid policy conflicts with Trump, had refused to testify in the House investigation, citing the president's prohibition on his cooperation and the absence of court decision gauging which tool — the congressional subpoena or executive immunity — held more weight.

On Monday, however, Bolton reversed course and said he'd testify under subpoena, even without a court ruling.

Bolton's lawyer said last month that his client has plenty of insights into Trump's pressure campaign on Ukrainian leaders to find dirt on the president's political rivals — the episode that was at the center of the Democrats' impeachment investigation. And Democrats have clamored for McConnell to summon Bolton to hear his story.

McConnell, joined by all Senate Republicans, is vowing to launch the trial with passage of a rules resolution, which defers any decision on potential witnesses until the middle of the process.

The uncertainty surrounding Bolton's Senate appearance has led some Democrats to promote an alternate plan: Why not subpoena him to testify in the House?

Hoyer said Wednesday that Democrats wouldn't be announcing a decision either way until it becomes more clear how the Senate process will unfold.

"We do not preclude that option," he said.