December 18, 2019


Why Is Mitch McConnell Afraid of This Man? (A.B. STODDARD,  DECEMBER 16, 2019, The Bulwark)

Senate Republicans--such as Lindsey Graham, who just bragged he is "not trying to pretend to be a fair juror"--are intent on racing through an impeachment trial. One of the reasons for this rush may be a desire to be done with impeachment before any more news connects Russian money to President Trump. We now know Rudy Giuliani's indicted ex-business partner Lev Parnas--who paid Rudy $500,000 to do Trump's Ukraine election meddling--had a Russian funding stream.

No wonder that, after the latest Parnas news broke last week, Graham said of the Senate trial, "I will do everything I can to make it die quickly."

Of course he will. [...]

[T]he real reason for getting the impeachment trial done fast is defensive: Republicans want to dispense with their Constitutional responsibility before the public realizes there is a second Russia-focused federal criminal investigation underway and that Trump, once again, is at the center of it.

And the more Giuliani--who is also being investigated, along with Parnas and others, by the FBI as well as the Southern District of New York for his work as Trump's "attorney," flies around the world ranting about what he and Trump are up to and shows up at the White House (as he did last Friday), the more incentive Republicans have to get the trial over with.

The ironic part is that Trump and Giuliani don't seem to understand their own best interests quite as clearly as their Senate enablers do.

The president and his personal lawyer have delighted in updating the press about Rudy's latest jaunt to Kyiv--where Trump said he "found plenty," and has been making a TV series about Burisma Holdings and the Bidens. Giuliani boasted to reporters that his plane had just landed before Trump called last week to ask what Rudy had dug up in Ukraine, to which he responded "more than you can imagine."

This must drive McConnell and his colleagues slightly meshuggah. Because while Trump and Giuliani are having fun with their out-in-the-open election interference, sooner or later people are going to start wondering whether or not this work is also being indirectly financed by the Russians.

Posted by at December 18, 2019 12:00 AM