Rep. Adam Schiff said Tuesday that former national security adviser John Bolton would be a "captivating" witness in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, adding that it's "pretty clear" that his upcoming book "had a lot to do" with his willingness to testify now when he wouldn't appear before the House.
"We would have loved to have John Bolton testify," the California Democrat, who heads the House impeachment management team, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"We invited him to testify. He refused."
Bolton's attorneys had said that if the House subpoenaed him, "he would sue us," Schiff continued. "We would be tied up in courts for months or years, just as we're tied up with Don McGahn. That didn't seem to be a good remedy when you talk about a president trying to cheat in the next election."
It was "vexing" that Bolton would refuse to come before the House, said Schiff, but whatever his motivation was, what matters now is that if he testifies before the Senate the American people will get to hear the full truth about Trump's actions with Ukraine.
"I don't think the president's team can credibly argue that there isn't sufficient evidence that the president himself directly in his own words made it abundantly clear ... here's the quid pro quo the president outlined," Schiff said.
Meanwhile, Schiff rejected arguments being presented by Trump's legal defense team.
"It's hard to know where to begin with arguments that Rudy Giuliani is a bit player, even though the president brought up Rudy Giuliani more than anyone else in the phone call with [Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy," said Schiff.
He added that the president's defense team is "reading between the lines."
"It is basically, 'yeah, he did it, we know he did it, the president knows he did it. We just don't want the American people to see more evidence that he did it,'" said Schiff. "Clearly that's what John Bolton represents. He would tell in a captivating way, the public would watch the most pernicious part of the scheme, withholding of hundreds of millions of dollars of military aid to an ally at war to coerce sham investigations."
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