Congress will soon return from their holiday break, and attention will again turn to developing parameters for a Senate trial covering the recently finalized impeachment of President Donald Trump. Essentially, Republican leaders like Mitch McConnell have already explicitly pledged not to be fair, which has attracted harsh criticism from Democrats — and so far, one Republican Senator. Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski said that she was “disturbed” by McConnell’s vow for “total coordination” with the White House in dealing with the impeachment trial, and now, Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal says there’s more where that came from.
‘I’ve talked to anywhere from five to 10 of my colleagues who have very severe misgivings about the direction that Mitch McConnell is going in denying a full, fair proceeding with witnesses and documents. My hope is that they will say publicly what Sen. Murkowski did, and really hold Mitch McConnell accountable… I believe Sen. Murkowski is saying what a lot of my Republican colleagues are thinking, in fact, saying privately.’
Currently, Republicans are in the majority in the Senate, so they have final say over proceedings for the trial. Democrats would have to turn a handful of Republican Senators to get a majority in favor of their own demands for the proceedings, and although Blumenthal didn’t name names, advocates like Republicans for the Rule of Law have already been targeting perceived moderate and/or electorally vulnerable Republican Senators with demands that they support fairness. That group just recently launched a video ad campaign targeting Sens. Murkowski, Mitt Romney (Utah), Susan Collins (Maine), and Lamar Alexander (Tenn.).
The problem is that so far, Republicans have largely refused to even acknowledge any issue with the scandal driving the impeachment proceedings. Trump is documented to have delayed military aid for Ukraine while demanding that they investigate his domestic political opponents, but the vast majority of Republicans aren’t fazed. Their defenses range from claims that Trump was supposedly legitimately concerned about legitimate corruption to that the “pressure” didn’t even happen. They also point to Trump’s own assertions of his innocence, but that’s not how judicial investigations work!
Trump seems to be taking their defenses well though, which suggests that there will be a whole lot more public rants from Republicans. Recently, Trump tweeted after some hearings:
‘It always helps to have a much better case, in fact the Dems have no case at all, but the unity & sheer brilliance of these Republican warriors, all of them, was a beautiful sight to see. Dems had no answers and wanted out!’
The Republicans House members were fantastic yesterday. It always helps to have a much better case, in fact the Dems have no case at all, but the unity & sheer brilliance of these Republican warriors, all of them, was a beautiful sight to see. Dems had no answers and wanted out!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2019
Could he be any more self-aggrandizing? At this rate, he’ll be claiming he’s been chosen by God soon — oh wait, he already did that. Remember — that’s from the guy who also recently said he’s “never understood wind.”
While the debate has raged about the rules of an impeachment trial, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has delayed transmitting the impeachment case to the Senate at all, which Trump and his allies have claimed is illegal — but there’s just no evidence for that.