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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Senate Set to Vote on Bush's UN Ambassador Nominee

WASHINGTON -- On the eve of a key vote on the nomination of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Senate Democrats said Wednesday that they had amassed "overwhelming evidence" in recent weeks that Bolton had stretched intelligence to fit his views, tried to punish dissenters and misled senators about his actions.

Republicans, who expect Bolton to win approval Thursday in a party-line vote of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, insisted that a three-week investigation of Bolton had produced no fresh evidence that would disqualify the diplomat.

The committee meets Thursday for the first time since a confirmation vote on Bolton was delayed last month -- spurring a furious effort by Democrats to scuttle the nomination and a campaign by Republicans to rescue President George Bush's choice for the UN post.

Republican Senator Richard Lugar, the committee chairman, said he believed the committee would approve Bolton despite Democrats' complaints that the Bush administration failed to provide some of the evidence requested about Bolton's record. Bolton has served as undersecretary for arms control and international security since 2001.

In addition to interviewing 31 witnesses about Bolton, other witnesses came forward to complain about those who testified against the nominee, Lugar said.

Committee Democrats are expected to use the five hours allotted for debate on the nomination to argue that testimony by senior current or former State Department and CIA officials, as well as e-mails and other documents, directly contradict Bolton's sworn testimony.