Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham on Tuesday threw his support behind a proposal from Sen. James Lankford that would allow senators to view former national security adviser John Bolton’s book manuscript in a classified setting.
“I totally support @SenatorLankford‘s proposal that the Bolton manuscript be made available to the Senate, if possible, in a classified setting where each Senator has the opportunity to review the manuscript and make their own determination,” Graham wrote on Twitter.
On Monday, Lankford encouraged the White House to provide a copy of Bolton’s manuscript to the upper chamber as part of the impeachment trial against President Trump.
“I think getting that information first-hand would be really important for us,” Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican, said Monday, according to The Oklahoman.
“That’s a minimum amount that we should actually be able to get and I am encouraging the White House, anybody that I can talk to to say: That manuscript is pertinent and we should get access to that manuscript to see what they’re actually saying.” (RELATED: John Bolton Book Undercuts Trump’s Main Ukraine Defense)
According to a New York Times report on Sunday, Bolton claims in the book draft that in August 2019, Trump told him that he was withholding military aid to Ukraine in order to force officials there to provide information about Joe Biden and other political rivals.
If true, Bolton’s claims would undercut Trump’s denials that he sought to trade aid to Ukraine for help with politically-charged investigations.
Trump denied the claim on Monday, tweeting that he “NEVER” made the remarks to Bolton.
Democrats have ramped up pressure on Republicans to call Bolton and other current and former administration officials as witnesses at Trump’s trial. Republicans have largely opposed calling witnesses, hoping instead to end the trial this week.
But the Bolton manuscript has thrown a kink in those plans, and at least two moderate Republicans — Mitt Romney and Susan Collins — said Monday that they are now strongly considering voting for witnesses after Trump’s legal team wraps up its case.
At least four Republicans would have to join all Democrats in order to call witnesses and request documents for the trial.
Bolton provided his manuscript to the National Security Council on Dec. 30 as part of a standard prepublication review. Bolton’s attorney, Charles Cooper, has denied in media statements that Bolton, his book agent, or publisher leaked the manuscript to The Times. A National Security Council spokesman has said that the book was not shared with the White House.
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