(NBC News) Republican hopes of a fast acquittal faded as the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump resumed Friday.
The New York Times released another bombshell from the forthcoming book by former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who alleges the president enlisted him in a politically motivated pressure campaign involving Ukraine and former Vice President Joe Biden last May.
According to the Times, in the book Bolton says during a White House meeting, President Trump instructed him to call Ukraine’s President Zelenskey and arrange a meeting with Rudy Guiliani, the president’s personal attorney.
Bolton says he never made that call, and also claims one of the White House lawyers participating in the impeachment trial, Pat Cipollone, was in the room and heard what the president said.
The White House has issued a statement saying “that meeting never happened.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has apparently secured enough votes to block new witnesses after two Republican senators decided against additional testimony.
Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander made that decision despite stating the president’s behavior was inappropriate, while Senator Lisa Murkowski concluded the Senate wouldn’t have a fair trial.
“It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed,” Murkowski’s statement read.
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