Key Senate Republican wants to start Trump impeachment trial within days


US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's refusal to submit articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate prompted a group of Republican Senators to seek a vote to summarily dismiss the entire case, Senator Josh Hawley said in a press release on Monday.

Last month, the House of Representatives accused Trump of two indictments resulting from an alleged effort to pressure the Eastern European country to open a politically motivated investigation into the candidate Democrat for President Joe Biden.

"Accordingly, since my testimony is once again at issue, I have had to resolve the serious competing issues as best I could, based on careful consideration and study", Bolton said in a statement.

"In a normal courtroom, in a real world, if the prosecutor does not try his or her case, if they don't actually bring it forward to the court, the defendant can say, all right, then we're dismissing the case", Hawley said Monday on Fox News.

Other witnesses during the House impeachment investigation testified that Bolton, who was sacked by Trump in September, strongly objected to an effort by Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to pressure Kiev outside of regular diplomatic channels, with one saying he referred to the arrangement as a "drug deal".

USA senators, who had expected just weeks ago to be turning their attention to an impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, will kick off the week focusing on "ordinary business", with lawmakers still at loggerheads over trial rules.

Bolton's willingness aside, his subpoena and testimony are not a given.

Should he testify, Bolton would be the most senior former Trump adviser to give evidence in an impeachment crisis that, while front-page news, has never appeared to seriously threaten Trump, who maintains strong support from his fellow Republicans in Congress. Of course, this is a Senate that is controlled by the Republicans.

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The U.S. now has 12,000-13,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan as part of a NATO-sponsored initiative to train local forces. Washington's peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been trying to hammer out a peace agreement with the Taliban for over a year.

"And that's the way it should be done this time", he said.

The Democratic-led House launched impeachment proceedings against Trump on September 24 following claims by a whistle-blower that the commander-in-chief had sought to pressure Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 U.S. presidential elections. Speaker Pelosi called the impeachment process urgent, and she's correct, it should be.

The poll also found 40% of independents approved of Trump, compared to 16% of Democrats.

Bolton late a year ago teased that he would have more to say about Ukraine, tweeting that people should "stay tuned". Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who said he would not vote in favor of subpoenaing Bolton.

"That resolution will be privileged, so it will have to come to the floor", Schumer said.

Democrats would need four Republicans to side with them to get the majority required to call witnesses.

Bolton's statement would add an element of unpredictability to impeachment proceedings that are generally expected to end with Trump's acquittal.