Last night, Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell’s impeachment rules were debated late into the night. House members presented compelling arguments that Trump had abused the powers of his office, and then obstructed, and continues to obstruct, congressional investigations into his crimes.
New poll results happened to be released earlier in the day, and they made clear that a majority of Americans, 69%, believe the impeachment trial should include new witnesses. Moreover, 51% of Americans want Donald Trump removed from office. These polls were taken without the public having the benefit of hearing the testimony of several key witnesses, and without viewing pertinent documents. Imagine what the poll numbers might be if this were an unfettered investigation.
Somehow neither the numbers or the sentiments they reflect had any impact on the actions of Senate republicans.
There were several votes taken throughout the night, regarding requests by House Democrats to subpoena documents. Despite whispers that there were four Republicans who were “on the fence,” votes went along party lines. There was one exception- one single vote was cast against party lines. To be clear, during one of many votes taken last night, there was one single vote by one republican, no doubt cast for the purpose of her own credibility, so she might continue to mimic riding the fence by feigning confusion, concern, and indecision.
Every vote was disheartening.
If you missed some or all of the proceedings last night, that was by design. Senate Majority Leader McConnell planned this trial to go late into the night, earning him a new nickname, Midnight Moscow Mitch. His hope in holding proceedings at such a late hour is that you’ll go to bed, and forget that Donald Trump was caught planning to cheat in the 2020 election. For the GOP, the smaller the audience the better.
Congressman Adam Schiff was the star of the night. He is democracy’s MVP. His eloquent and pointed responses to the blatant lies repeated by Trump’s lawyers were something to behold. The word that comes to mind is satisfying. Listening to Trump’s defenders gaslight was infuriating. Maybe 51% of the population felt the same way I did. Adam Schiff didn’t let them get away with anything.
Between attacking sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg and claiming the US is “winning like never before,” Trump responded to questions about the impeachment proceedings, from Davos: “We have all the documents. The Dems have nothing.”
Donald Trump is bragging about obstructing justice, the second article of impeachment. He’s that stupid.
White House lawyer, Pat Cipollone’s conduct in withholding records and blocking testimony is unprecedented, yet he complains that Adam Schiff is withholding documents. He accused Democrats of stealing an election. To hear them lie blatantly about well-documented facts in this impeachment trial is shocking. His goal is to confuse the public. The truth is damning. Whether or not Chief Justice Roberts will continue to allow their behavior remains to be seen.
Former CIA Director John Brennan:
It is unlikely this GOP majority Senate will vote to allow witnesses, but I’d like to hear John Bolton testify, and Mick Mulvaney, and Rick Perry, and Lev Parnas, and Mike Pompeo, and Mike Pence, and Rudy Giuliani, and Devin Nunes, and Trump. I’ll be shocked if any of them do.
Things could change, you never know. Last night McConnell said he had the votes to pass rushed through proceedings without witnesses, or documents, and even without evidence from the House impeachment
These were his original rules:
Clearly, McConnell didn’t have the votes, because he was forced to make last-minute changes: to add a day to opening arguments and to admit house evidence. That was the extent of the adjustments. Unless something changes, for the first time in the history of impeachment trials, judicial or presidential, witnesses will not be heard.
House case managers will have three days, totaling 24 hours to make their opening arguments to the Senate. Attorneys for the White House will have the same time over three days.
Senators will then have 16 hours to submit questions to both sides before they decide whether to call witnesses or subpoena documents.
We can expect to hear shouting from the republicans. I say this after seeing the list of Trump’s defense impeachment team:
- Congressman Doug Collins
- Congressman Mike Johnson
- Congressman Jim Jordan
- Congresswoman Debbie Lesko
- Congressman Mark Meadows
- Congressman John Ratcliffe
- Congresswoman Elise Stefanik
- Congressman Lee Zeldin
So far, today’s proceedings, day one of opening arguments, have been a review of what we learned in the House inquiry. I’m hoping Nancy has some surprises in store for us.
These Republican senators are up for re-election in 2020:
- Sen Joni Ernst (R-IA)
- Sen Susan Collins (R-ME)
- Sen Martha McSally (R-AZ)
- Sen Cory Gardner (R-CO)
- Sen Thom Tillis (R-NC)
- Sen John Cornyn (R-TX)
- Sen Steve Daines (R-MT)
- Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Call them and demand a fair trial. (202) 224-3121— The only way to preserve our democracy is by overwhelming public outcry.