Lindsey Graham on impeachment inquiry developments

Sen. Lindsey Graham R-S.C. and President Trump

Former national security adviser John Bolton failed to show up for an interview with impeachment investigators Thursday, making it unlikely that he will provide any testimony to the House about President Donald Trump's handling of Ukraine.

Jennifer Williams, a career foreign service officer and special adviser to Pence for Europe and Russian Federation, was testifying in a closed-door hearing in front of members of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees after receiving a subpoena to compel her testimony.

Bolton was asked to appear for a closed-door deposition Thursday, but he has not been subpoenaed yet and did not appear.

"We regret Mr. Bolton's decision not to appear voluntarily, but we have no interest in allowing the administration to play rope-a-dope with us in the courts for months", a House Intelligence Committee official told the Post. A congressional source said the inquiry is unlikely to go down that route.

USA congressional committees conducting an impeachment probe of President Donald Trump met on Thursday for the first time with an adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, one of the last witnesses to testify behind closed doors before public hearings start next week.

The battle is likely to go to the Supreme Court and could spill into next year. All three state department officials had previously appeared in the closed-door sessions. Williams was one of a handful of USA officials who listened in on the call.

They are trying to determine whether Trump froze $391-million in US security assistance for Ukraine to put pressure on Zelensky to conduct the investigation, misusing USA foreign policy for his personal gain.

The public impeachment hearings for U.S. President Doanld Trump will start on November 13 and will include testimony from witnesses who previously gave their account of what happened on the a phone call with Ukraine.

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Democrats have countered that any quid pro quos are usually in furtherance of USA interests overseas, not the personal interests of a president looking to damage a potential 2020 election rival.

Republicans have also accused Democratic House leaders of holding the inquiry in secret because they are closed-door, although Republican committee members have been present throughout.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced Wednesday that three State Department witnesses will appear in two hearings next Wednesday and Friday: top Ukraine diplomat William Taylor, career department official George Kent and Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine.

Trump insisted in a pair of late night tweets that he had not asked Barr for a press conference.

William Taylor, Washington's top diplomat to Ukraine, and deputy assistant secretary of state George Kent are scheduled to testify next Wednesday. Marie Yovanovitch, who was abruptly pulled from her post as USA ambassador to Ukraine in May, will testify on Nov 15.

While the appearance drew praise from Trump, it also raised alarms from critics already wary of his independence after Barr released a letter summarizing the reports' conclusions, which Mueller later complained "did not fully capture the context, nature and substance" of the full report and led to "public confusion about critical aspects of the results of" the investigation.

The report and Trump's denial comes as Democrats prepare to move the impeachment inquiry into the public hearing phase.

Senate Republicans have so far shown little appetite for ousting the president.

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