House managers also filed their brief Saturday evening; it has the nerve to claim “President Trump’s conduct is the Framers’ worst nightmare.” Sorry, but the “Framers’ worst nightmare” has got to be this overtly political impeachment. It’s exactly what they expressly did NOT want.
McConnell reportedly plans to give each side two marathon 12-hour sessions in which to present opening arguments. Once all that is over –- whew –- my understanding is that if McConnell thinks he has the votes to go ahead and dismiss the charges, he could hold that vote and it would be over. But that choice seems unlikely.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll kiss your mind goodbye when you hear House impeachment manager Hakeem Jeffries assert, as he did on FOX NEWS SUNDAY, “We don’t dislike Donald Trump...but we do love America, we do love democracy, we do love the Constitution...” Right. They loathe Trump, and any “love” they have for the Constitution must be of the sadistic variety, as they abuse it whenever it suits them.
Of course, upon a dismissal, Democrats would scream “Cover up!!” (They’re going to do that anyway, but in this case the screams would be louder.) It seems unlikely that Senate Republicans would want to dismiss. I’m with them; just look at the impressive lineup of managers the President has. I’m itching to see them put on a humdinger of a defense of President Trump --- finally.
I think McConnell should press on and let President Trump’s managers answer the charges at length, on the record. Trump deserves that defense. After that steaming pile of Schiff, we WANT Trump officially exonerated. We still don’t know what evidence his defense even possesses that would further discredit the witnesses from the House “inquiry.” Of course, we do know almost all of their testimony was hearsay and presumption that would never be allowed in a normal judicial proceeding.
If they go forward, the next step will be for Senators to question each side. Questions must be in writing and Chief Justice Roberts will read them out. Sen. Ted Cruz, appearing on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES, said he estimates this part will take 1 to 1-1/2 weeks. Then the decision will be made, by simple majority, on whether or not witnesses will be called and documents produced.
This is The Big Question, as Democrats have insisted on being allowed to call new witnesses such as former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney (who, in a sane world, would almost certainly be covered by executive privilege, which is why the House didn’t ask the Supreme Court to compel his testimony during the “inquiry”) and John Bolton (ditto).
Democrats will most likely all vote “yes” on witnesses, but they’d still need four Republicans to vote with them to go down that months-long road. This is bluster, to make it look as though Republicans, if they vote "no," are covering up. It is THEY who are covering up, to hide the obvious Biden/Burisma corruption that Trump was legally obligated to scrutinize, as well as the transparent “whistleblower” hoax. In other words, the Democrats, unless they're hopelessly vapid and/or impeachment-crazed, will likely back down, because here’s what the message will be from the Republicans if they keep demanding witnesses (I'm paraphrasing):
"Look, fools, you had your opportunity during your 'inquiry' to call any witnesses you wanted, and you failed to get that done. (You should also have allowed witnesses to be freely questioned by us, and have allowed us to call our own witnesses, but never mind.) The time is OVER for you to call new witnesses, but if you do obtain the votes, we will follow up by calling the witnesses WE never got to call in the House, and you will see this thing blow up in your faces. Spectacularly. You will be stunned by how badly this goes for you --- how deceptive and sweepingly unconstitutional your strategy will be shown to be. We will tear the lid off the scheme to kick off your sham 'inquiry' in the first place. You will be very, very sorry you ever started down this path.
"You wrongly assumed the President would withhold the transcript of his call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, and the fallout from your miscalculation will be extreme.
"You don’t even care what’s true. Speaker Pelosi said, '...It’s not a question of saying, ‘proof'; it says ‘what allegations have made been made?' Really? You can ALLEGE anything you want. Without PROOF, you are wasting everybody’s time. Americans will look back on this sham with embarrassment and horror.
"What you’re doing is, as Judge Jeanine Pirro put it, about as serious ‘as a bunch of second-graders passing gas.’ This is how you’ll go down in history."
THAT’S the message Senate Republicans have for you, House Democrats. If it turns out there are no witnesses called, know that you have dodged a bullet.
Anyway, that’s how I think it will go. This probably won’t last longer than a couple of weeks. If it does, and witnesses are called, well, pass the popcorn.