House Impeachment Investigators Call on Bolton to Testify

WASHINGTON (CN) — The three House committees overseeing the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on Wednesday asked former national security adviser John Bolton to give a closed-door deposition next week, as the probe into the president’s dealings with Ukraine intensifies.

Former national security adviser John Bolton speaks to the Venezuelan American community in Miami on Feb. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez, File).

Bolton has been asked to appear before impeachment investigators on Nov. 7, but it is unclear whether he will testify. On Monday, Bolton’s former deputy Charles Kupperman ignored a subpoena to appear before the committees.

House investigators also asked National Security Council lawyer John Eisenberg and one of his deputies, Michael Ellis, to testify on Monday.

Bolton reportedly opposed Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, which is the focus of the impeachment investigation, though officials said he was not on the call. Bolton is said to have raised concerns that the president wasn’t coordinating with advisors and might air personal grievances.

During the call, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his potential Democratic opponent in the 2020 election, along with Biden’s son Hunter.

The White House later released a transcript of the call, in which Trump additionally asked Zelensky to look into Ukraine’s alleged interference in the 2016 election.

Alexander Vindman, an Army lieutenant colonel who later became a diplomat, told impeachment investigators on Tuesday that he tried to change the White House’s rough draft of the transcript to include Trump’s mention of Burisma, a Ukraine gas company where Hunter Biden sat on the board.

Bolton was the Trump administration’s third national security adviser before he was forced out by Trump last month. The president and Bolton disagreed on a myriad of issues, including Trump’s position on ending the war in Afghanistan and negotiations with the Taliban.

They also butted heads on the administration’s dealings with Iran. Bolton reportedly asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with options for military strikes against the country last year. He has formally called for an Iranian regime change and supported Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

The ousted national security adviser had also reportedly pressured Trump to pursue a more comprehensive denuclearization deal with North Korea.

Charles Cooper, an attorney representing both Bolton and Kupperman, was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

Bolton first joined the administration in April 2018, preceded in the position by Michael Flynn and Army General H.R. McMaster. He held the position for a year and five months, the longest for a Trump administration national security adviser. Bolton was replaced by Robert O’Brien, a former State Department envoy.

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