December 20, 2019


Why doesn't McConnell want witnesses at Trump's trial? Because he's guilty. (Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman,  Dec. 19, 2019, Washington Post)

[T]rump and McConnell don't want a Senate trial that includes the handful of witnesses that Democrats have demanded because Trump is flagrantly guilty of all of the corruption for which he's now been impeached. Trump got caught, and they all know he did everything he's been accused of doing.

Such a trial would risk exposing this further -- or worse. That's because Trump's conduct is without question even more corrupt than we currently know -- probably much more so -- and such a trial would risk additional revelations to this effect. [...]

When McConnell blithely vowed on Fox News to run Trump's trial in "total coordination" with the White House legal team, McConnell revealed he's determined to structure the trial with a single goal in mind: making sure it creates as few revelations as possible -- since that means political pain for Trump and for McConnell's majority -- no matter how absurdly it must be structured to pull this off.

To that very end, McConnell rejected Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's call for witnesses at the trial, which included acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton.

We know why McConnell rejected that demand: because those witnesses almost certainly can testify to Trump's state of mind in freezing military aid to Ukraine, at precisely the moment when he and his personal lawyer Rudolph Giuliani were implementing an elaborate plot to extort Ukraine into announcing investigations that would help Trump politically.

Indeed, this is exactly why the White House also blocked their testimony when House Democrats demanded it during the impeachment inquiry.

At bottom, this is a simple matter. Democrats are demanding to hear from witnesses whom we have not yet heard from, and who have direct knowledge of what may be the most corrupt act at the core of the scheme -- the freezing of the aid -- which Republicans claim was an entirely innocent act. Senate Republicans are refusing to hear from them, just as the White House wants.

Posted by at December 20, 2019 12:00 AM