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King: Getting Book Manuscript 'Unnecessary Step' Before Deciding Whether Bolton Should Testify

Several Republicans have proposed that members of the Senate get copies of the book manuscript by former National Security Advisor John Bolton before deciding to call him as a witness in the impeachment proceeding. But independent Sen. Angus King of Maine says there’s no question that Bolton should testify.

King told CNN that as far as he knows, none of his Senate colleagues have read the manuscript that reportedly contradicts President Donald Trump’s account of the Ukraine controversy. He says it’s clear to him from news reports that access to the manuscript should not be the deciding factor in whether Bolton testifies.

“I just think that is an unnecessary step. Under the rules he would be deposed, but under oath, deposed by counsel and then that would be preliminary to appearing as a witness,” he says.

King does say it seems strange to him that White House staffers and book publishers have read the manuscript, and so have more of the facts than members of the Senate.

“Here we are in this incredibly important historic moment and there are staffers in the White House and publishers in New York and editors that know the facts, and we don’t,” he says. “That’s weird.”

Republican Sen. Susan Collins has not commented on the manuscript proposal.