The impeachment trial spilled into its second week on Monday, as President Donald Trump’s counsel presented more opening arguments on the Senate floor.
It was the first day back following The New York Times’ bombshell report on Sunday that Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, had detailed in an unpublished manuscript a conversation where the president reportedly tied the release of Ukraine military aid to investigations into the Bidens.
ABC News has not independently reviewed the manuscript, but according to the Times, Bolton wrote that he had a conversation with Trump about the Ukraine aid and investigating his political rivals in August 2019.
The news put more pressure on the question of whether or not there will be witnesses during the impeachment trial.
Here’s three things to know from Monday:
Impact of Bolton’s reported conversation with Trump
Bolton’s unpublished manuscript, which reportedly contradicts Trump’s defense about the withholding of military aid, created a firestorm in Washington and put increased pressure on Republicans to make way for witnesses at the Senate trial.
Some Republicans on Monday indicated they’d support hearing from Bolton, like Utah Sen. Mitt Romney.
“It’s pretty fair to say that John Bolton has a relevant testimony to provide to those of us who are sitting in impartial justice,” Romney said.
Similarly, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said in a statement: “The reports about John Bolton’s book strengthen the case for witnesses and have prompted a number of conversations among my colleagues.”
Although there appeared to be a shift toward the possibility of allowing witnesses among Republicans on Monday, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said if they were going to add Bolton, “then we’re going to go to Hunter Biden, Joe Biden and all these people.”
“If there’s a need to add to the record, then my view is that we’re going to completely add to the record, not selectively, and I’ll let you know Thursday if I think there’s a need,” Graham said.
“If the Senate needs to secure testimony from John Bolton, then I will say so. If I think that’s necessary for fairness, but I also have said for weeks that if we call one witness we’re gone call witnesses requested by the president,” he continued.
Jay Sekulow, the president’s personal lawyer, said during opening statements that the defense team planned Monday to continue using the same “pattern” that they used when dealing with the case on Saturday, and did not mention Bolton.
“We deal with transcript evidence,” Sekulow said. “We deal with publicly available information. We do not deal with speculation — allegations that are not based on evidentiary standards at all.”
Trump’s lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, argued Monday evening that even if Bolton’s revelations are proven true, they are not an impeachable offense.
You can read the rest of Sophie Tatum’s article at ABCnews.com