Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
Updated 1:05 PM ET, Mon January 6, 2020
(CNN) Former national security adviser John Bolton’s surprise announcement Monday that he is willing to testify in the Senate’s impeachment trial significantly raises the already massive stakes of the pending votes in the chamber as to how the trial of President Donald Trump will be conducted. And it puts even more pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as he seeks to keep his 52 GOP colleagues in line as both sides prepare for the historic proceeding.
At the core of the debate over how the Senate impeachment trial will work is whether or not witnesses will be allowed to be called. In mid-December, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to McConnell requesting that four witnesses be allowed to testify — a list that included Bolton as well as acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.