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Meadows: Bolton manuscript leaked 'to manipulate' senators over witness vote

 Meadows: Bolton manuscript leaked 'to manipulate' senators over witness vote
© Bonnie Cash

Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsWinter COVID-19 wave poses threat to nation's hospitals Critics blast 'two-faced liar' Miles Taylor after revelation as NYT 'anonymous' author Ex-DHS official reveals himself as 'Anonymous' MORE (R-S.C.) said Monday that recent claims from John BoltonJohn BoltonJohn Bolton in heated exchange with BBC anchor over lack of impeachment testimony President Trump: To know him is to 'No' him Obama highlights Biden's tweet from a year ago warning Trump wasn't ready for pandemic MORE's forthcoming memoir were leaked as part of an effort to “manipulate” GOP senators to vote for witnesses as part of the ongoing impeachment trial. 

Meadows, a staunch defender of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign slams Facebook after thousands of ads blocked by platform's pre-election blackout Mnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' Harris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden MORE, questioned the timing of the leaked manuscript, first reported by The New York times late Sunday, that bolstered Democrats’ push for Bolton to testify about the administration's decision to withhold aid to Ukraine, which Bolton says was tied directly to President Trump's desire for Kyiv to announce investigations into his political opponents. 

“My Republican colleagues in the Senate are going to make up their own minds on whether or not to call witnesses, but this leak was designed for one purpose and one purpose only, and that was to try to manipulate the thinking of my Republican colleagues in the Senate to encourage them to open it up and provide for more witnesses,” Meadows told reporters. 

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He called out the timing of the report, as Trump’s defense team makes its opening arguments.

“Some have suggested that it was to sell more books. Some have suggested that indeed the leak was designed to create chaos,” Meadows said. 

He added that it is “a pattern that my Democrat colleagues have embarked on when it was over in the House,” referring to the impeachment inquiry.

“They continue to leak out things trying to change the narrative so that you will write about it, so that the American people can get all worried about it, only to find out the facts later don't necessarily support the accusations that were made,” he added. 

The Times reported Sunday night that Bolton claims in his forthcoming memoir that Trump tied Ukraine aid to help with investigations into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden Florida heat sends a dozen Trump rally attendees to hospital Harris more often the target of online misinformation than Pence: report MORE and his son Hunter Biden. The allegations are at the heart of the impeachment trial. 

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After the allegations were reported, a couple of potential swing-vote Republicans signaled they may vote to compel witnesses.

A vote is expected later this week, and Democrats need at least four Republicans to vote in favor of the measure. 

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSusan Collins says systemic racism isn't 'a problem' in Maine Biden, Cunningham hold narrow leads in North Carolina: poll GOP sees path to hold Senate majority MORE (R-Maine.) said the reports on Bolton’s book “strengthen the case for witnesses and have prompted a number of conversations among my colleagues.” 

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyWhy Biden could actually win Texas The spectre of pension failures haunts this election The Memo: Five reasons why Trump could upset the odds MORE (R-Utah) similarly told reporters Monday it is “increasingly likely” additional GOP senators will support calling Bolton. 

Bolton and his book publishers denied that there was any coordination with the Times. 

“Ambassador John Bolton, Simon & Schuster, and Javelin Literary categorically state that there was absolutely no coordination with the New York Times or anyone else regarding the appearance of information about his book, THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED, at online booksellers,” Bolton, Simon & Schuster, and Javelin Literary said in a joint statement.