Tags: sen. ben cardin | witnesses trial | bolton | biden

Cardin: National Security Concerns Shouldn't Keep Bolton From Testifying

Sen. Ben Cardin is shown with his glasses
Sen. Ben Cardin (Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 22 January 2020 02:40 PM

Sen. Ben Cardin Wednesday disagreed with President Donald Trump's argument that national security concerns should preclude former national security adviser John Bolton from testifying in the Senate's impeachment trial.

"We would have to consider those matters, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't call Mr. Bolton," the Maryland Democrat told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "He has critical information."

Bolton declined to participate in the House impeachment inquiry hearings, but says he is willing to appear before the Senate if he is subpoenaed. 

But Trump argued Wednesday, during a news conference in Davos, Switzerland, that there are several concerns about Bolton testifying, but admitted that he didn't leave the White House "on good terms."

There also is a question about whether executive immunity would come into play, but Cardin said that power is not always absolute. 

"The courts upheld that it cannot be used to prevent the carrying out of our responsibilities, including the oversight and impeachment proceedings," said Cardin. "There was a conversation that took place that has been quoted frequently about how Mr. Bolton thought there was a quid pro quo. It would be good to hear from him in that regard."

He also rejected comments that have been made that Democrats would swap witnesses to allow Trump's team to call Hunter Biden to testify in exchange for Bolton to testify for Democrats. 

"I do think a president's lawyers should have the opportunity to suggest witnesses that they believe are important for the president's defense . . . I'm open to listening to the president's lawyers on any witnesses they believe are helpful to present the president's case."

Further, trading is "not the way we conduct a trial," said Cardin. 

"We want to hear from witnesses that either the managers think are important, or the president's lawyers think are important for their defense," he said. "They must be relevant to the matters before us. They should be able to make that argument to the United States Senate."

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Sen. Ben Cardin Wednesday disagreed with President Donald Trump's argument that national security concerns should preclude former national security adviser John Bolton from testifying in the Senate's impeachment trial.
sen. ben cardin, witnesses trial, bolton, biden
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2020-40-22
Wednesday, 22 January 2020 02:40 PM
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