Impeachment trial live updates: Trump says he can ‘live either way’ on witnesses

Trump said Wednesday that he “can live either way” with the Senate’s decision about whether to call witnesses at his impeachment trial, but argued that testimony by former national security adviser John Bolton could pose several concerns.

During a meandering news conference in Davos, Switzerland, Trump said he had “great respect” for the Senate and would follow the lead of the senators on whether to include witnesses.

At one point, Trump asserted he would “rather go the long way” on a trial, seemingly contradicting comments in a television interview earlier Wednesday in which he said he would like to see an “acquittal fairly quickly.”

As part of his claim that he wanted a full trial, Trump said such a trial would presumably include an interview with Bolton and that he would like for Bolton to testify. But Trump said he opposed Bolton’s testimony for various reasons, including that Bolton left the administration on bad terms.

“You don’t like people testifying when they didn’t leave on good terms,” Trump said, after arguing that there were also national security reasons to keep him from testifying.

Trump also praised one of his personal lawyers, Rudolph W. Giuliani, calling him a “high quality person,” and said Giuliani was not on his impeachment defense team because it could pose a potential conflict.

“He could be a witness at some point,” Trump said of Giuliani, who has been active in seeking damaging information on the Bidens from Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Trump denigrated House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), one of the impeachment managers.

“He’s a sleazebag,” Trump said. “Everybody knows that.”

Asked whether he agrees with the view of Alan Dershowitz, one of his impeachment lawyers, that abuse of power cannot be an impeachable offense, Trump gave an equivocal answer.

“It depends,” he said.

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