Kaptur Calls On Senate To Subpoena Former National Security Advisor John Bolton

January 30, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Ukraine Caucus, delivered the following speech on the floor of the House of Representatives urging her Senate colleagues to vote in favor of additional witnesses and documents in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, including President Trump’s former National Security Advisor John Bolton. The Senate is expected to vote on additional witness this Friday, January 31.


Rep. Kaptur’s floor speech is available below and viewable here


Mr. Speaker, 


The impeachment of President Donald Trump has forced our nation into a Constitutional crisis.


On one hand, Democrats have led a good faith effort to discover the truth and hold President Trump and his Administration responsible for their destructive and corrupt actions in Ukraine. While on the other, Republicans have refused outright to meaningfully engage in the fact-finding process.


In the House, Republicans have ignored the fact that Russia has invaded Ukraine, a sovereign nation. Ukraine is the scrimmage line for liberty in Europe today – a continent whose liberty we restored and paid a deep price for it.


Despite overwhelming evidence in the Senate, Republicans have complained they’ve learned nothing new from the impeachment trial, yet they have voted over ten times to block new evidence and witnesses. 


For instance, it is clear that President Trump’s former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s testimony has relevance to the Senate’s efforts to find the truth. Bolton has first-hand knowledge of the Administration’s duplicitous actions in Ukraine and President Trump’s mal intent. Yet, Republicans in the Senate have refused to subpoena Bolton, despite his statements that he is willing to testify.


Additionally, this week, the New York Times reported that President Trump told his former National Security Advisor John Bolton that he wanted the $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine frozen – a nation at war I remind you – until Ukrainian officials agreed to carry out investigations into Democrats and the Bidens, according to a manuscript written by Bolton. Such a claim is relevant and warrants immediate investigation by Congress – and yet, POLITICO reported today that Republican Leadership in the Senate remains opposed to additional witnesses including Bolton, though dissent is emerging in their ranks.


Mr. Speaker, I feel strongly that if the Senate fails to allow additional witnesses relevant to the impeachment trial to testify and subsequently votes to acquit, such inaction would set a dangerous and perhaps even irreversible precedent: one that allows the Executive Branch to ignore Congressional oversight with impunity.


To date, President Trump has refused to comply with any Congressional subpoenas, obstructing justice, and even going a step further as to block and intimidate Executive Branch officials from cooperating with the House investigation. An Executive Branch unaccountable to Congress – the branch of government most connected with the American people – is a dangerous prospect. We cannot allow this to become the new norm.


We are a nation of laws, not men or women. Laws protect us. The balance of power between our three branches of government at the local, state, and federal level is the only protection we have from ourselves.


Our Founders wrote into our Constitution the means to hold a lawless President accountable and remove him from office. The rule of law is sacred – and that is why no one is above the law.


Regardless of anyone’s opinions of President Trump, personal affections are not the issue. The issue at hand is independent of party or politics. The question is who among us will sit silent and allow the voice of the people to be trampled, and who will rise up to keep the presidency accountable to our Republic. 


Mr. Speaker, I have had the privilege to serve alongside public servants in both parties, and while I have had disagreements with my Republican colleagues on policy, I remain immensely thankful for their bipartisanship in so many ways and willingness to engage on issues to strengthen our nation’s national security and improve the lives of working people –calling many Republicans actually my friends.


But that is why, Mister Speaker, I am so disappointed today. My Republican colleagues have so far failed to act in defense of our democracy – they seem to live in an alternate reality from our own.


The American people have made it clear they want additional witnesses to ensure a fair trial. They want to hear what Ambassador Bolton and other witnesses have to say. Senate Republicans should let them testify under oath.