Hoyer wants testimony from Bolton

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House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday that John Bolton should testify before Congress on his tenure as President Trump’s top national security adviser.

Hoyer was quick to acknowledge that the request might be ignored — and that Democrats likely don’t have the time to compel such testimony through the courts before November’s elections.

“Unfortunately, it’s a long and torturous process, as you know, and we’ve been at it for more than a year in some cases,” Hoyer said on a press call.

But voters deserve to hear from Bolton under direct lawmaker questioning, he added.

And like Attorney General William Barr, whom Democrats intend to subpoena, Bolton should be asked to come before Congress to lend the public a clearer window into Trump’s conduct in the Oval Office, Hoyer said.

Hoyer suggested Democrats might seek Bolton’s testimony in the coming weeks.

“The timeline will be up to the committee chairs. And I know they’re considering it,” he said.

In Barr’s case, Hoyer said he’s particularly interested in learning the attorney general’s role in the violent clearing of a park in Washington on June 1 to allow Trump to take pictures before a historic church. With Bolton, he simply wants to give lawmakers the opportunity to scrutinize parts of a damning new book the former national security adviser released Tuesday.

“I think that’s important for the American people to know what happened in both instances,” Hoyer said. “Because both, frankly, put at risk our democracy.”

Bolton, a defense hawk who served in the Trump White House until September, has captivated Washington with his new memoir, which contains explosive  accounts questioning Trump’s fitness for office. The claims have prompted a series of talks between Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democratic committee leaders about whether to call Bolton to Capitol Hill for testimony.

The debate has divided some liberal lawmakers, who are demanding tough oversight and presidential accountability, from more moderate Democrats — some of them representing Trump-won districts — who want to focus their attention on kitchen-table issues like health care and infrastructure heading into November.

Bolton had refused to testify in the Democrats’ impeachment investigation last year, even under subpoena, citing unresolved legal questions about the power of congressional subpoenas to eclipse the president’s claims of executive immunity.

Yet those concerns evaporated when impeachment shifted to the Senate, where Bolton offered to testify under subpoena — a process that never happened because Trump’s Republican allies in the upper chamber declined to call him in.

Bolton recently defended his decision not to testify during the House impeachment inquiry. “I don’t think it would have made a difference,” he told ABC’s Martha Raddatz in an interview that aired this week.

Hoyer, joining a chorus of Democratic critics, accused Bolton of neglecting the country in order to make money on his book.

“It appears to me that John Bolton chose profits over patriotism — he chose cash over responsibility as a citizen,” Hoyer said.

“How sad for our country that we did not have the relevant information that he has now given at a time when it would have made perhaps … a difference,” he added.

Tags Donald Trump Impeachment John Bolton Nancy Pelosi National Security Adviser Steny Hoyer Testimony William Barr

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