Hoyer: House Democrats reserving option to subpoena Bolton

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules House revives agenda after impeachment storm House poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate MORE (D-Md.) said Tuesday that House Democrats are leaving the door open to seek testimony from former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonRomney: 'It's very likely I'll be in favor of witnesses' in Trump impeachment trial George Conway: Witness missing from impeachment trial is Trump Democrats see Mulvaney as smoking gun witness at Trump trial MORE in the ongoing investigation into President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg 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 PelosiClinton says Zuckerberg has 'authoritarian' views on misinformation Trump defense team signals focus on Schiff Trump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president 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 McConnellSchumer: Trump's team made case for new witnesses 'even stronger' Trump, Democrats risk unintended consequences with impeachment arguments CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group 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.