Political News

Schiff pushes Bolton to testify but will not go to court to force him

Posted November 24, 2019 9:58 a.m. EST

— House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff left the door open to the possibility of more hearings or depositions in the impeachment inquiry but said that Democrats will not "wait months and months while the administration plays a game of rope-a-dope in an effort to try to stall."

Schiff indicated on Sunday in an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union" that Democrats would not be taking former national security adviser John Bolton to court for his testimony.

Schiff also said Bolton should have the "courage" to testify like former National Security Council Russia expert Fiona Hill and others. And if he chooses not to testify, Bolton will have to explain to the country "why did he wait to tell" his story in his upcoming book rather than to the public "when it mattered."

Over the past two weeks of public testimony, Bolton emerged as a critical witness. During that congressional testimony, National Security Council staff placed him in key meetings with Ukrainian leaders and private meetings with the President on releasing military aid to Ukraine. Bolton's lawyer told Democrats that the former national security adviser knows information that had not yet been disclosed to the committee but would only testify if a court ordered him to do so.

In his interview with Tapper, Schiff defended this decision, saying that the evidence was already overwhelming without the testimony of Bolton and other Trump administration officials being blocked from appearing in front of the committee by the White House.

Schiff also addressed a question from Tapper on whether or not Democrats were waiting for the impeachment to move to the Senate, where Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the trial, could compel White House aides to testify. Schiff said there was "merit to the idea that [they] may get a quicker ruling from a Chief Justice in a Senate trial," should it come to that, than "going months and months litigating."

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