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Nadler says it's 'likely' House will subpoena Bolton

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerTop Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Democratic impeachment leaders blast Trump's pardon of Flynn Democrats accuse GSA of undermining national security by not certifying Biden win MORE (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that it is “likely” that the House will issue a subpoena to President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE's former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonPressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win Sunday shows - Virus surge dominates ahead of fraught Thanksgiving holiday Bolton calls on GOP leadership to label Trump's behavior 'inexcusable' MORE.

Nadler said that a final decision had not been made yet, but that the odds were that House Democrats would issue a subpoena after the Senate voted last week not to call any witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial.

“I think it’s likely, yes,” Nadler told reporters. "We'll want to call Bolton."

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Nadler elaborated that Democrats would continue their investigations even after the Senate's expected vote later Wednesday to acquit Trump on the two articles of impeachment passed by the House.

Nadler defended pursuing further investigations into the White House in an election year.

“First of all, I think when you have a lawless president, you have to bring that to the fore and you have to spotlight that. You have to protect the Constitution, whatever the political consequences. Second of all, no, as more and more lawlessness comes out, I presume the public will understand that," Nadler told reporters outside a Democratic caucus meeting.

But a decision on the House issuing a subpoena to Bolton is not set in stone.

Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesHouse Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Nominated for another Speaker term, Pelosi says it's her last Katherine Clark secures No. 4 leadership spot for House Democrats MORE (D-N.Y.), the Democratic caucus chairman and one of the seven impeachment managers, said that subpoenaing Bolton would be a “question for further discussion” that would be decided by Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGovernors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation MORE (D-Calif.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Trump pardons Flynn | Lawmakers lash out at decision | Pentagon nixes Thanksgiving dining hall meals due to COVID-19 Democratic impeachment leaders blast Trump's pardon of Flynn Trump pardons Michael Flynn MORE (D-Calif.).

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Bolton's upcoming book reportedly will claim that Trump wanted to withhold nearly $400 million in security assistance to Ukraine until its government agreed to open investigations into his political opponents.

House Democrats asked Bolton to testify last fall but did not issue a subpoena. Bolton declined to testify because the White House didn't authorize him to appear as a witness in the impeachment inquiry.

Democrats opted against trying to force Bolton to testify out of concerns that the fight would take months to resolve in the courts.

But in January, Bolton announced that he would be willing to testify in the Senate impeachment trial if he were subpoenaed. Senators, however, narrowly voted last week against calling any witnesses.

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDemocrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Hoyer on Trump election challenges: 'I think this borders on treason' Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview MORE (D-Md.) suggested on Wednesday that there is value in hearing from Bolton, even after the Senate impeachment trial has ended. But he deferred the decision to the committee leaders, like Nadler, who have been examining Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

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"I don't think they're going to be precluded by any vote of the Senate on that," Hoyer told reporters in the Capitol. "But the committees will make that decision."

Hoyer acknowledged that there are some moderate Democrats facing tough reelections who are ready to put the whole saga behind them and turn their focus to legislation. But, he predicted voters will understand if Democrats frame the ongoing investigation as routine oversight, rather than a second stab at impeachment.

"The committees ... will be making a determination whether that information is useful to get for their oversight responsibilities, not necessarily for the impeachment process, but for ... closing the book, finding out the information," he said. "I think that they may well do that, but they're going to make that decision."

--Mike Lillis contributed to this report, which was updated at 12:20 p.m.