McConnell Doesn’t Have The Votes To Block Witnesses Yet — But It Sounds Like He Will By Friday

HotAir | 1/28/2020 | Staff
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The headlines going around this evening, all to the effect that “McConnell doesn’t have the votes!”, are misleading when you read down into the stories themselves. Republicans sound much calmer and more resolute about ramming through an acquittal verdict without witnesses than they did 24 hours ago, in the first flush of the NYT’s story on Sunday night about Bolton’s book. McConnell doesn’t have the votes yet but as of Tuesday night Collins and Romney remain the only two Republicans willing to say it’s highly likely they’ll vote to call witnesses. Murkowski is interested in hearing from Bolton but won’t go any further than that now. And no one thinks Lamar Alexander’s going to blow up his buddy Mitch’s plans for a quick ending to the trial.

They seem to be calculating that they’d rather get torched by nine months of Democratic “COVER UP!” attack ads than put Bolton on the stand, which is cynical but rational. Those “cover up” ads are coming no matter what, after all. They could call Bolton, Mulvaney, Pompeo, even Giuliani, and so long as they vote to acquit Dems will accuse them of being Trump’s co-conspirators. And it may well be that Republicans will suffer less politically from a quick acquittal without witnesses than they would if they called Bolton, he gave damning testimony, and then they voted to acquit anyway. True, Bolton’s probably going to give damning “testimony” to the media anyway after his book comes out. But that can’t be avoided. Trump created this problem for his Senate caucus; there’s no way out of it without some political pain.

Process - Material - Witnesses - Process - Verdict

Maybe an obviously sham process aimed at ducking material witnesses is less painful than a pretend-diligent process in which the verdict is assured no matter what any witness says. It’s certainly debatable.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch...
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