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Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is among the Democrats ratcheting up pressure on Republicans to call witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial, after The New York Times published an explosive report about former National Security Advisor John Bolton.
In a forthcoming book, Bolton is said to reveal that President Trump wanted to continue freezing security aid to Ukraine until he got help with investigations into the Bidens, according to the Times.
"It sure as heck puts it to [the Republicans] now," Warren told WBUR Monday. "They repeatedly made the case that, 'no, no, you can't say quid pro quo because it's all just circumstantial evidence…' [But] now, John Bolton has stepped up and said that he's a direct witness."
The Bolton report could not have come at a worse time for the President and his defenders. As Republicans resume their defense Trump in his Senate impeachment trial, the report is helping Democrats make a case that Bolton and other witnesses should be called to testify.
"I don't understand how anybody could be taking the position up to now that it's going to be a fair trial, but there won't be any witnesses and there won't be any documents," Warren said. "That's never happened in American history."
Trump tweeted early Monday that he "NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens."
Many Republicans dismissed Bolton's claims as nothing new and said he shouldn't be called as a witness, but there are signs that the revelations could chip away at that position.
"I think it's increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those of us who think we should hear from John Bolton," Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah said. And Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said the Bolton news strengthens the case for witnesses.
Warren spoke to WBUR Monday afternoon about the impeachment trial, and about the state of her presidential campaign one week before the Iowa Caucuses. Warren, along with three other Senators who are running for President -- Bernie Sanders (Vermont), Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) and Michael Bennet (Colorado) — have had to limit their campaigning during the impeachment trial in which they serve as jurors.
"You know, there are just some things more important than politics," Warren said. "And this is only the third impeachment in the history of this country. "
After leading the Democratic race in some early-voting states in the summer and fall, the Warren campaign has stalled, according to a number of polls, which now show Sanders leading in New Hampshire and Iowa. Sanders has also won endorsements from a number of leading progressive groups, and with voting set to begin in Iowa next week, the Vermont Senator appears to be peaking at the right moment.
But Warren told WBUR that her campaign continues to attract money, excitement and endorsements, including most recently, from the influential Des Moines Register editorial board.
"Which is a big deal," she said.
Meantime, a strategy document sent to Warren supporters by her campaign director, Roger Lau, lays out a plan for what could be a long slog to win the nomination.
"[We] have built our campaign to sustain well past Super Tuesday and stay resilient no matter what breathless media narratives come when voting begins," Lau wrote.
Lau did not explicitly say that Warren might not win any of the first four early states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina), but he does call them "just the beginning," and argues that the campaign has "what even rival campaigns acknowledge is the best organization on the ground, and matching or exceeding our opponents with more than 1,000 staff on the ground nationwide in 31 states and Washington, D.C."
There is no doubt that Warren has one of the largest, if not the largest, campaign organizations among the Democrats. But failing to win both Iowa and New Hampshire would be a heavy blow for the campaign to absorb. Asked if she could ultimately win without the those two early states, Warren expressed faith in a campaign built without big money donors.
"I believe in democracy," she said. "And I believe in building a grassroots movement across this country. And what's what we've been doing."
This segment aired on January 28, 2020.
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