The latest on President Trump's impeachment
President Trump criticized impeachment in an interview with Rush Limbaugh today, saying that while his administration deals with Iran he has to “spend time on this stuff.'
“It’s so sad for our country,” Trump told Limbaugh. "We’re fighting with Iran, we’re fighting will all of these different places, and in many cases doing great, making trade deals and doing so good- but I have to spend, and my team has to spend time on this stuff.”
Asked what he thought was behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to withhold sending the articles of impeachment, Trump responded, “Well — I think what they’re trying to do is effect the election, illegally but that’s what they’re trying to do. The reason they’re not sending them is because they’re — they are a joke. They are not crimes. There’s nothing there.”
Trump continued to slam impeachment, saying, “This was not what they had in mind. As they call them, the Founders, right? They keep saying the founders, founders. But the founders didn’t have this in mind?” Trump laughed, adding “I’ve never heard the word founders so much in my life.”
“I think they’ve lost their minds if you want to know the truth,” … nobody’s ever seen anything like it,” Trump added.
“Even the impeachment hoax, you take a look at that, and they have nothing. They have nothing. With one of the biggest investigations in history they found nothing. Think of it.,” Trump said.
At one point during the interview, Trump remarked, “Even I was very impressed with how clean I am, Rush.” To which Limbaugh replied, “You may be cleaner than any previous president that we can think of.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CNN he would not vote for a subpoena of former White House national security adviser John Bolton because he said that it was the House of Representative’s job to get his testimony.
“I wouldn’t because... I believe you should be constrained by the information that those articles are based on," he said. "If the House wants to start a new impeachment inquiry or pull it back and add additional elements to it, that’s their choice to make."
What this is about: Bolton said today that he is willing to testify — if he is subpoenaed — in the Senate's impeachment trial.
The House sought his testimony but ultimately never subpoenaed Bolton, and Democrats withdrew their subpoena for his former deputy after it was challenged in court, as Democrats wanted to move forward with their impeachment probe and not wait for the court's decision.
Bolton is potentially a crucial witness, as he had firsthand knowledge of many of the events that formed the House's impeachment of the President over his dealings with Ukraine.
Sen. Josh Hawley’s office announced today that the Missouri Republican has “introduced a resolution to update Senate rules to allow a motion to dismiss articles of impeachment for lack of prosecution” in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s withholding of the articles of impeachment from the Senate.
Ten Senate Republicans are co-sponsoring the resolution, including Sens. Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst and Jim Inhofe.
Remember: As CNN's Phil Mattingly noted this morning, any resolution that would require the chamber to go around the standing impeachment rules is not going to be pursued by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The news that John Bolton is willing to testify is unlikely to change Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s strategy over President Trump’s impeachment trial, according to multiple GOP sources familiar with the matter.
McConnell has rejected Democratic demands to require that the ground rules of the trial should include testimony of Bolton and three other witnesses, along with documents withheld by the White House. He says such decisions about witnesses and documents should be made after opening arguments, though Democrats fear that’s an attempt to prevent any witnesses from testifying at all.
Several GOP sources familiar with the matter say that Bolton’s announcement will not sway McConnell. “Not at all,” one source said.
McConnell plans to reiterate his view to Senate Republicans during a closed-door lunch on Tuesday, a source said.
Ultimately, issuing a subpoena for Bolton would require 51 votes in the Senate, meaning at least four Republicans would have to join 47 Democrats.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded on Twitter to John Bolton's statement that he is prepared to testify in the Senate — if subpoenaed.
"The Senate cannot be complicit in the President's cover-up," she wrote.
House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff tweeted the Senate must allow John Bolton to testify at the upcoming impeachment trial.
Bolton, President Trump's former national security adviser, announced earlier today that he is willing to do so if he is subpoenaed.
"The Senate must allow testimony from him, Mulvaney and others. The coverup must end," Schiff wrote.
Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will speak about impeachment at 3 p.m. ET on the Senate floor, according to an aide.
The aide would not say if he would comment on John Bolton's announcement that he is willing to testify — if he is subpoenaed.
Two Senate Republican aides are downplaying the significance of John Bolton’s announcement that he's willing to testify in the Senate impeachment trial if he's subpoenaed.
“Not really news that will make a difference,” one of the aides told CNN. “Witnesses aren’t happening. Democrats have zero leverage and we feel zero pressure to listen to their demands.”
Another speculated Bolton is trying to drum up sales for his forthcoming book.
President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is reacting to former national security adviser John Bolton's announcement that he's willing to testify at the Senate impeachment trial if subpoenaed.
"I don't know what he would say,” Giuliani said when asked about any concerns about Bolton testifying.
Giuliani, who spoke to CNN at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, said everything he did was known by the State Department
On testimony that Bolton had been critical of him, Giuliani said, "He never said anything to me. Maybe he's a bit passive aggressive."
Giuliani is in town meeting with clients and does not currently have plans to meet with the President this week, he said.