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Romney wants 'to hear from John Bolton' in impeachment trial

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyWill anyone from the left realize why Trump won — again? Ratings drop to 55M for final Trump-Biden debate Bipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning MORE (R-Utah) said on Monday that he wants to hear from John BoltonJohn BoltonJohn Kelly called Trump 'the most flawed person' he's ever met: report Bolton: North Korea 'more dangerous now' Demand for Trump-related titles sparks expected record year for political books MORE after the former White House national security adviser offered to testify in President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE’s impeachment trial if subpoenaed.

Romney told reporters at the Capitol that he wants to hear from Bolton and find out “what he knows” about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

“I would like to be able to hear from John Bolton. What the process is to make that happen, I don’t have an answer for you,” he added.

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Romney is the first GOP senator to specifically say he wants to hear from Bolton since the former Trump administration official said earlier Monday that he is willing to testify if the Senate subpoenas him.

Romney did not indicate if he thinks there needs to be a deal on hearing from Bolton at the outset of the trial, saying Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Senators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerTrump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Trump announces opening of relations between Sudan and Israel Five takeaways on Iran, Russia election interference MORE (D-N.Y.) are still working on trying to get a deal on the rules.

Bolton is one of four witnesses that Senate Democrats want to call as part of Trump's trial. They’ll need four Republicans to support their efforts if they are going to successfully subpoena him.

Bolton did not appear before the House and was not subpoenaed as part of its impeachment inquiry after his lawyers made clear he would not appear without a subpoena and that he would want a court to resolve the question of whether he could be forced to testify.

Bolton announced in a statement on Monday that he would testify if he is subpoenaed by the Senate, a decision that immediately sent shockwaves through Washington.

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"The House has concluded its Constitutional responsibility by adopting Articles of Impeachment related to the Ukraine matter. It now falls to the Senate to fulfill its Constitutional obligation to try impeachments, and it does not appear possible that a final judicial resolution of the still-unanswered Constitutional questions can be obtained before the Senate acts," Bolton said in a statement.

"Accordingly, since my testimony is once again at issue, 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," he added.

Bolton did not indicate what he was prepared to tell senators, but he witnessed key moments leading up to and following the July 25 call during which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate a debunked theory about Kyiv's involvement in the 2016 Democratic National Committee server hack as well as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Brad Pitt narrates Biden ad airing during World Series MORE and his son Hunter Biden's business dealings in Ukraine.

Bolton’s offer to testify comes as Senate Republicans have increasingly embraced a speedy impeachment trial with no witnesses for either Trump’s legal team or the House impeachment managers.

McConnell has personally said he does not believe witnesses should be called. He is urging the Senate to pass two resolutions in regards to the trial. One, passed at the outset, would deal with the rules of a trial. The second, passed after opening arguments and questions from senators, would determine which, if any, witnesses would be called to testify. 

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McConnell could force through his preferred setup for a trial if he can keep 51 of his 53 member-caucus united.

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTrump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Murkowski says she will vote to confirm Barrett to Supreme Court on Monday Biden's oil stance jars Democrats in tough races MORE (R-Maine) has said she is “open” to witnesses but thinks the decision should wait until after the initial phase of the trial. 

—Updated at 5:26 p.m.