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Republican senator says he wishes John Bolton would've testified in Congress — months after he rejected calling for new witnesses during Trump's impeachment

Business Insider logo Business Insider 6/21/2020 dchoi@businessinsider.com (David Choi)
Tim Scott wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump shakes hands with Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina during a working session regarding the Opportunity Zones provided by tax reform in the Oval Office of the White House February 14, 2018 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images © Alex Wong/Getty Images President Donald Trump shakes hands with Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina during a working session regarding the Opportunity Zones provided by tax reform in the Oval Office of the White House February 14, 2018 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • Republican Sen. Tim Scott says he wished former national security adviser John Bolton would have testified before Congress amid explosive claims from his tell-all book.
  • "One of the things about making allegations in a book for $29.95, — certainly it's going to be a best-seller I'm sure — the problem is that when you're selling it in a book, you're not putting yourself in a position to be cross-examined," Scott said of Bolton's upcoming memoir.
  • Scott's comments come nearly five months after he joined Republican colleagues to prevent new witnesses, such as Bolton, from testifying during President Trump's impeachment trial.
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Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina says he wished former national security adviser John Bolton would have testified before Congress — nearly five months after he voted against calling new witnesses to testify for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

"I do wish that Mr. Bolton would have come in to the House under oath and testified," Scott said during an interview with ABC News on Sunday morning.

Bolton has written a memoir about his tenure in the Trump administration, which details a tumultuous period in matters of foreign policy and domestic politics. The memoir, "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir," goes on sale Tuesday and includes an unflattering behind-the-scenes look at Bolton's interactions with Trump and his senior advisers.

Bolton's memoir has been lambasted by the Trump administration, which characterized it as a work of fiction that discloses sensitive information. On Saturday, a federal judge shut down the Trump administration's attempt to deny the book's publication, but added that Bolton "likely jeopardized national security by disclosing classified information in violation of his nondisclosure agreement obligations."

"One of the things about making allegations in a book for $29.95, — certainly it's going to be a best-seller I'm sure — the problem is that when you're selling it in a book, you're not putting yourself in a position to be cross-examined," Scott said.

"So for $29.95, you can monetize his national security clearance, but under oath, he would have had an opportunity to answer questions and not just make assertions," he added. "So far, it looks like he's monetized it more than he has actually provided a fact-pattern."

Scott's comments come nearly five months after he joined his Republican colleagues to prevent new witnesses and evidence from consideration for President Trump's impeachment trial. On January 31, Scott voted along party lines against the measure in a 51-49 vote, which would have compelled Bolton and other White House officials to provide testimony of their knowledge about the Ukraine scandal.

"The fact remains, nothing presented so far, even as a theoretical, has shown [Donald Trump] committed an impeachable offense," Scott tweeted two days before his vote. "This continues to be just a Democratic political charade."

Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah were the only two Republicans to vote for the motion to subpoena additional witnesses.

House investigators previously requested Bolton to testify for the impeachment inquiry but stopped short of issuing a subpoena after the former adviser declined, citing guidance from the White House. Bolton later claimed he would testify if subpoenaed by the Republican-majority Senate.

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