Bolton's lawyer says the ex-Trump adviser knows of undisclosed Ukraine meetings, conversations

Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – John Bolton, President Trump's ousted national security adviser, seemed to tease House Democrats on Friday with a legal missive that said he has information about many as-yet-undisclosed "meetings and conversations" related to their Ukraine investigation.

A day after Bolton failed to appear voluntarily before the House impeachment panel, his lawyer, Charles Cooper, sent a letter to the committee hinting at Bolton's potential to be a star witness. 

Bolton was "personally involved in many of the events, meetings, and conversations about which you have already received testimony," the letter says, "as well as many relevant meetings and conversations that have not yet been discussed in the testimonies thus far." 

Cooper offered no additional details in the three-page letter, which is largely devoted to legal questions surrounding whether Bolton should comply with the House Democrats' request for his testimony. 

After Bolton refused to appear voluntarily, Democrats said they would not subpoena him because it would only delay their proceedings.

"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 USA TODAY on Thursday.

Cooper said Bolton is willing to testify if the courts resolve a conflict between a White House directive not to testify and a congressional subpoena compelling such testimony. But it's not clear if the courts will address that question, because the House Democrats have not subpoenaed Bolton and they have withdrawn a subpoena for another witness, Charles Kupperman, who served as Bolton's deputy at the National Security Council.

"Dr. Kupperman stands ready, as does Ambassador Bolton, to testify if the Judiciary resolves the conflict in favor of the Legislative Branch’s position respecting such testimony," Cooper wrote on Friday.

More: Ex-Trump adviser John Bolton refuses to appear for Ukraine testimony in impeachment probe

A string of other witnesses, from the State Department and other executive agencies, have already provided private depositions.

But Bolton could offer an insider's account of whether Trump urged Ukraine to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, while withholding nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid that Ukraine needed to counter Russian aggression. State Department and National Security Council officials have said Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was running a shadow foreign policy campaign on Ukraine. 

Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, told lawmakers it was his "clear understanding" that U.S. military aid to Ukraine was being withheld until Ukraine's president publicly agreed to open investigations that Trump and Giuliani wanted. Taylor mentioned Bolton numerous times in his testimony, according to a transcript released Wednesday.

Contributing: Bart Jansen

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: John Bolton, ex-Trump adviser, has new Ukraine info, might testify