Yet another bombshell about Donald Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine has dropped, just hours before Republicans prepare to vote to block witnesses and end the impeachment trial.
According to a New York Times report published on Friday afternoon, former national security adviser John Bolton alleges in his forthcoming book that White House counsel Pat Cipollone witnessed Trump’s attempts to force Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.
Cipollone is currently defending Trump’s conduct with regards to Ukraine in the Senate impeachment trial.
According to guidance from the American Bar Association, if Bolton’s claims are true, Cipollone’s involvement in any meetings surrounding the pressure campaign would constitute a direct conflict of interest that would throw into question his membership on Trump’s impeachment defense team.
“Combining the roles of advocate and witness can prejudice the tribunal and the opposing party and can also involve a conflict of interest between the lawyer and client,” the ABA writes in its rules of professional conduct.
Cipollone also plays a major role in the second impeachment charge Trump faces: obstruction of Congress.
In a letter in October, Cipollone told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic committee chairs in charge of the impeachment probe that the Trump White House would not cooperate in their inquiry, an effort that ultimately led the House to impeach Trump for obstruction.
“Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it,” Cipollone wrote in the letter.
The new revelation comes hours before the Senate plans to vote on whether to call witnesses like Bolton in Trump’s impeachment trial.
It is likely Republicans will vote to block witnesses and acquit Trump, even though a number of Republicans admit Trump’s behavior was inappropriate and wrong.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.