Sen. Mike Braun, an Indiana Republican, said he thought Trump defense attorney Alan Dershowitz’s presentation yesterday helped senators concerned about the allegations in former national defense secretary John Bolton’s draft book manuscript come to a conclusion that it was not impeachable conduct.
“I think he probably gave a lot more peace of mind to people that were wanting to see how to sort through it, when he made a strong case that each article was ill-founded,” Braun said. “And the key thing, and I asked him about it after he said it, was even a Bolton’s revelation in its full form was true, is that impeachable in your opinion? He said no because it imputes motives.”
About Dershowitz’s comments: At the end of a long day of trial arguments on Monday that largely ignored the new Bolton drama, Dershowitz argued that even if Bolton’s reported claim was true, it would not amount to an impeachable offense. He made a case for expansive presidential power, saying that a quid pro quo alone does not amount to an abuse of power — the basis of the first article of impeachment — which he said was not sufficient in itself to justify ending a presidency.
Braun said that while he doesn’t see a need for Bolton’s testimony, if the Senate does call witnesses he says it has to be reciprocal.
“If you cross that threshold it has to be reciprocal, and I’m guessing Joe Biden would be the one individual you’d want to talk to,” Bruan said.
Asked to clarify if he wanted Joe or Hunter Biden, Bruan said: “Either one — or the whistleblower.”
“Reciprocity, is I think something, if that’s not there, there will be no interest from most of us in the Republican side,” he added.