Former US National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump, John Bolton, claims that freezing aid to Ukraine last summer was directly related to Trump’s demands for Kiev to investigate the activities of his political opponent Joe Biden. Such a statement is contained in the yet unpublished manuscript of Bolton’s memoirs.
Bolton, in particular, writes that Trump told him that he would not unfreeze aid to Ukraine until the authorities of this country help in investigating the activities of Joe Biden’s son and the former vice president and one of the presidential candidates for the Democrats.
The Senate is now in the process of dismissing Trump from office after the impeachment against him by the House of Representatives. The issue of calling additional witnesses, including Bolton, is one of the key issues in this process. The Republicans, who have a majority in the Senate, have previously refused to call new witnesses, but may still change their position. Bolton, who did not testify in the House of Representatives due to the White House ban, made it clear that he was ready to speak in the Senate if he received a summons.
The issue of freezing the aid to Ukraine with the investigation against Biden is one of the key issues in the impeachment case. Trump’s defense and the president himself insist that there was no direct link between help and investigation – “service for service”. None of the witnesses has so far directly confirmed that he had heard of such a connection personally from Trump, although a lot of indirect evidence was given in favor of such an interpretation.
Trump on Twitter rejected Bolton’s allegations, writing that he had never told his former assistant that he had linked aid to Ukraine and the investigation against the Biden. The president suggested that Biden is pushing for a sensation to boost sales of his book.
Bolton left the White House in September last year, and immediately after that, assistance to Ukraine was unfrozen. A few days later – after a complaint by an anonymous intelligence officer about Trump’s actions – an investigation began, which led to impeachment. Trump was accused of abuse of power in connection with his actions against Ukraine, as well as obstructing the work of Congress.
At the trial in the Senate today, Trump defenders will continue to speak. Voting on the possibility of calling additional witnesses is expected later this week.
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