Former National Security Advisor John Bolton has been summoned to testify before house impeachment investigators on Nov. 7, according to recent reports.
Although people familiar with the matter told The New York Times that the invitation was a request at this time, not a subpoena, the U.K. Daily Mail confirmed that Bolton is on the schedule but it is unclear if his testimony would be voluntary.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel said that although a subpoena has not yet been issued, it would be “something that we would consider” if Bolton refuses to show.
“I’ve always found him to be very straightforward and honest about what he believes,” Engel said on Wednesday, according to CNN.
According to The Times, the White House could say that Bolton, as a former senior aide to President Donald Trump, “is absolutely immune from providing testimony from Congress and direct him not to show up.”
If this occurs, Bolton could decide for himself whether to follow the White House’s instructions. His former deputy, Charles Kupperman, defied a subpoena on Monday and refused to appear for his deposition, CNN reported.
According to testimony from Fiona Hill, Trump’s former Russia adviser, Bolton had gotten into a heated argument on July 10 with Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, and told Hill to alert the chief lawyer of the National Security Council, The Times reported.
“I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and [acting White House Chief of Staff Mick] Mulvaney are cooking up,” he told Hill, according to people familiar with Hill’s testimony.
Hill also quoted Bolton as saying “Giuliani’s a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up” in a different conversation.
During an appearance on Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said that it was important for Bolton to testify.
“John Bolton is a very important witness. We already know from the testimony of others that this is someone who is concerned that people in the State Department … were cooking up a drug deal and by that he meant a corrupt deal involving withholding a White House meeting or perhaps withholding of aid as well for these political purposes,” Schiff said.
“Obviously he has very relevant information and we do want him to come in and testify.”
John Eisenberg, the top lawyer for the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, one of his deputies, have also been requested to testify on Monday, The Times reported.
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