Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Tuesday a "steady drip-drop of information" and "the truth" are "leaking out" in media reports, bolstering Democratic calls for more witnesses and documents in the trial for the U.S. president.
He said the president and Bolton said "diametrically opposed things," but only one "is willing to testify under oath. Who do you believe?"
Speaking before President Donald Trump's attorneys begin their third and final day of defense arguments in the impeachment trial Schumer maintained Democrats would not bargain on witnesses and said he believes the chamber's minority is in "better shape today" than it was a month ago.
Borrowing a term from the president's defense lawyer Jane Raskin, who yesterday warned Senators that Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is a "shiny object designed to distract," Schumer said Republicans are always "looking for a shiny object to divert attention from the facts and the president."
Schumer also repudiated a new idea from prominent Trump supporters who are trying to figure out how to handle a New York Times report that claims former National Security Advisor John Bolton has written a manuscript in which he says the president said he was holding back Ukraine aid in exchange for an investigation into political adversaries. Senators Lindsey Graham and Senator James Lankford have suggested Senators be allowed to read the manuscript in a classified setting.
"What an absurd proposal," Schumer said. "It's a book. There's no need to be read in the SCIF [Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility]."
Schumer cited news reports that alleged the president ordered former national security advisor John Bolton not to testify, and that Bolton was concerned Trump was granting favors to autocratic leaders.
"Did the president have financial interests at stake?" Schumer asked. "Maybe his kids had some economic interest at stake."
Though Schumer noted those questions are not at the center of today's trial, he asked if they had impacted the nation's foreign policy.